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The Branner Geological Libra 




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The Branner Geological Library ' 




The Branner Geological Library 



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In the Senate of the United States, 

March 3, 1879. 
The following resolution was agreed to .by the Senate February 10, 1879, and con- 
curred in by the House of Representatives March 3, 1879 : 

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Bepreeentatives concurring), That 10,500 copies 
of the Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1878 be printed, 1,000 copies 
of which shall 'be for the use of the Senate, 3,000 copies of which shall be for the use 
of the House of Representatives, and 6,500 for the use of the Smithsonian Institution. 
Attest; r^ M .r^ ^..^ 

.213625 ^^^- ^- ^KHAM, 


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The annual report of the Institution for the year 1878. 

February S, 1879.— Ordered to be printed. 

Smithsonian Institution, 

February 7, 1879. 
Sib: In behalf of the Board of Begents, I have the honor to submit 
to the Congress of the United States the annual report of the opera- 
tions, expenditures, and condition of the Smithsonian Institution for the 
year 1878. 

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, 

Secretary Smithsonian Institution. 
Hon. W. A. Wheeleb, 

President of the Senate. 


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This document contains : 

1. The annual report of the Secretary, giving an account of the opera- 
tions and condition of the establishment for the year 1878, with the sta- 
tistics of collections, exchanges, &c. * 

2. The report of the Executive Committee, exhibiting the financial 
affairs of the Institution, including a statement of the Smithson fond, 
the receipts and expenditures for the year 1878, and the estimates for 

3. The proceedings of the Board of Begents for the sessions of May, 
1878, and January, 1879. 

4. A general appendix, including translations from foreign journals 
or works not generally accessible,' but of interest to the collaborators 
and correspondents of the Institution, teachers, and others interested in 
the promotion of knowledge. 

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KUTHBBFORD B. HATES, President of the United States, ex officio Presiding Officer. 
MORRISON R. WAITE, Chief Justice of the United States, Chancellor of the Insti- 
tution (President of the Board of Regents). 
SPENCER F. BAIRD, Secretary (Director of the Institution). 
WILLIAM J. RHEES, Chief Clerk. 


MORRISON R WATTE, Chief Justice of the United States. 
WILLIAM A. WHEELER, Vice-President of the United States. 
HANNIBAL HAMLIN, member of the Senate of the United States. 
AARON A. SARGENT, member of the Senate of the United States. 
ROBERT E. WITHERS, member of the Senate of the United States. 
HIESTER CLTMER, member of the House of Representatives. 
ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, member of the House of Representatives. 
JAMES A. GARFIELD^ member of the House of Representatives. 
JOHN MACLEAN, citizen of New Jersey. 
PETER PARKER, citizen of Washington, D. C. 
ASA GRAY, citizen of Massachusetts. 
HENRY COPPEE, citizen of Pennsylvania. 
WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, citizen of Washington, D. C. 
NOAH PORTER, citAen of Connecticut. 




RUTHERFORD B. HAYES, President of the United States. 

WILLIAM A. WHEELER, Vice-President of the United States. 

MORRISON R. WAITE„ Chief Justice of the United States. 

WILLIAM M. EVARTS, Secretary of State. 

JOHN SHERMAN, Secretary of the Treasury. 

GEORGE W. McCRARY, Secretary of War. 

RICHARD W. THOMPSON, Secretary of the Navy. 

DAVID M. KEY, Postmaster-GeneraL 

CARL SCHURZ, Secretary of the Interior. 

CHARLES DEVENS, Attorney-General. 

H. E. PAINEj Commissioner of Patents. 

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Secretary, Director of the In8tituti4m, 

Chirf Clerk. 

Clerkf Correepondenoe. 

Clerkf Accounts. 

Clerkf Foreign Exchanges. 

Clerk, Library. 

Clerk, Distribution of Publications. 

Clerk, Transportation. 


Curator of the Museum. 

Assistant, Mineralogy. 

Assistant, Ornithology. 

Assistant, Ichthyology. 

Assistant, Archasology. 

Assistant, Ethnology. 
F. H. CUSmNG, 

Assistant, Ethnology. 





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To the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution : 

Gentlemen : I have the honor herewith to present the report of the 
operations and condition of the Smithsonian Institution for the^ year 

The most important event during that time, and, indeed, in the history 
of the establishment, is the death of Professor Henry, its lamented Sec- 
retary, to whom was intrusted its organization in 1846, and under whose 
firm and judicious direction it has been carried safely forward, surmount- 
ing in its progress^ many obstacles and trials^ to its present condition of 
efficiency and prosperity. 

It is difficult to overestimate the importance to science and humanity 
of the administration of Professor Henry in this connection. It was a 
mere chance that the right man for the place would be selected^ and 
whether any other of the candidates would have done equally well it is, 
of course, impossible to say. It is very certain, however, that the chances 
would have been adverse to such a result. The most logical methods 
of operation and research, the strictest economy of administration, the 
restriction of the Institution to its legitimate ftinctions in the increase 
and diffusion of knowledge among men, and the avoidance of all en- 
tangling alliances of every kind, signally characterized the administra- 
tion of affairs by Professor Henry for the long period of nearly one thirrl 
of a century. This time sufficed to impress upon the Institution a defi- 
nite policy, and one which will, I trust, be permanent. It will certainly 
be my endeavor, as the successor of Professor Henry, vo carry out his 
principles during whatever period Providence and your good- will may 
grant me the direction of afbirs. 

The characteristics of the i)olicy adopted by Professor Henry at the 
beginning of his administration, and sanctioned by the Board of Begents, 
were, first, never to attempt to do with the funds and appliances of the In- 
stitution what could equally well be done by other appropriate agencies 5 
secondly, to attempt nothing which might not strictly be considered as 
coming within the department of science, theoretical or applied ; thirdly, 
to keep all expenditures within the income of the Institution, and never 
to allow the operations of one year to be hampered by indebtedness 
carried over firom the preceding ; and, finally, not to restrict the opera- 
tions of the institution to Washington, or even to the United States • 
but to extend its benefits to the whole world, in view of the proper inter- 


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pretation of the will of Mr. Smithson that the main functions of the 
institution should be ^^the increase and diffusion of knowledge among 

Numerous illustrations of the i)olicy of Professor Henry in regard to 
the first principle adopted by him can be adduced. Ko matter how 
favorite the branch of research might have been with him, nor what 
amount of reputation might be gained to the Institution by prosecuting 
it, he was always ready to transfer it to those who could carry it on with 
success. The most noteworthy instance, perhaps, was that in connection 
with the subject of meteorology, which had from the beginning been one 
of special interest to him. The very earliest action in the scientific direc- 
tion of the Institution had reference to the adoption of a general system 
of meteorological observations throughout the United States and the 
ac^jacent portions of America, and the proper reduction of the results in 
a systematic form. Up to the time of the establishment of the Signal 
Office, this was by far the most important feature of Smithsonian activity. 
it embraced a connection with about six hundred observers from all 
the walks of life and in all parts of the country. With these, constant 
communication was held, and from them were received monthly detailed 
observations of various degrees of minuteness and accuracy on blanks 
furnished to them previously by the Institution; and an extended 
correspondence was maintained with them, not only on meteorological 
subjects but upon others of scientific interest. For more than twenty- 
five years this relation continued with the most important results, the 
work extending and enlarging year by year in a rapid ratio. 

As soon as the operations of the United States Signal Office were 
established by government, under General Myer, Professor Henry 
oft'ered to turn over the Smithsonian system with its observers to that 
establishment, and this offer being accepted the transfer was made; 
since then the Institution has confined itself to working up the results 
of a quarter of a century's labors and publishing them in a systematic 
and digested form. The series of such digests has been nearly com- 
pleted and the whole will be finished as rapidly as the funds of the 
Institution will x>ermit. 

It was to this restriction of effijrt to subjects of importance, in a scien- 
tific or practical i)oint of view, which were not otherwise provided for, 
that is due the impression made upon the progress of learning by the 
Smithsonian Institution as administered by Professor Henry. There 
are numerous establishments in the United States, not of precisely sim- 
ilar chara<5ter, but with the same general object, and with equal or larger 
funds of endowment, but which are scarcely known or even heard of 
outside of the limits of the city in which they may happen to be sit- 
uated. The name of the Smithsonian Institution, on the contrary, is a 
familiar one in every part of the world ; and it may almost be said that 
it is even better, understood, comprehended, and appreciated in the 
remotest parts of Europe than it is in some sections of the United States. 

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At the beginning of the active operations of the institution, Professor 
Henry prepared what he called a "Programme of organization." This 
was first submitted to the judgment of leading men of science through- 
out the United States and Europe, and received general approval. It 
was presented to the Board, and adopted as the basis of future opera- 
tions. It is interesting to note that whatever new lines of research or 
of practical work have been taken up from time to time liy the Institu- 
tion, were simply the carrying out into practical eflfect of one or other of 
the subdivisions of tHe proposed programme. 

The board at its special meeting, held on the 17th of May, 1878, di- 
rected the preparation of a suitable biography of its late Secretary, and 
also the holding of a memorial service in one of the halls of Congress, if 
it could be obtained for the purpose. The preparation of this biography 
was intrusted to a committee, consisting of President Porter, of Yale 
College, Dr. Maclean, of Princeton, and Professor Gray, of Harvard ; 
and it has been prepared by the latter gentleman, and will be submitted 
by him to the Board. 

The arrangements for the memorial services have been made, to take 
place on the evening of Thursday, January 16, 1879. In addition to 
the records prepared by the direction of the Board, two other memoirs 
have been written, and were presented, October 26, 1878, to the Philo- 
sophical Society of Washington, of which Professor Henry had been the 
presiding oflScer from the time of its organization. One of these me- 
moirs, by Dr. Welling, president of Columbian University, gave an 
account of Professor Henry's life and character with reference to his 
I)ersonal, social, and educational qualities ; and the other, by Mr. Will- 
iam B. Taylor, set forth more particularly his scientific work and the 
succession of his discoveries. 

Professor Henry's last illness dates from the autumn of the year 1877, 
and was apparently induced in a considerable measure by exposure 
while carrying on a series of experiments in behalf of the Light-House 
Board. After his return from Staten Island, he was able to bestow but 
little attention to the details of the work of the Institution ; although, 
up to the very day of his death, he was directing and controlling it as 
from the beginning. Shortly after his return in the autumn, he made a 
visit to Philadelphia, for the purpose of being under the care of Dr. S. 
Weir Mitchell, and came back to Washington after an absence of a few 
weeks. His death took place on the 13th of May, 1878, — a peaceful and 
^PPy death — surrounded by his family and friends. 

After his decease, as in his life, he was signally honored. Congress 
adjourned to attend the funeral, which was also marked by the presence 
of the highest dignitaries of the country, including the President and 
his cabinet, the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and 
those of the District of Columbia, the diplomatic corps, and numerous 
organizations of which he was a member, as well as others from abroad. 

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Honored by the Board in being selected to succeed Professor Henry, 
it was with the greatest diffidence, and with an unaffected distrust in my 
ability to administer worthily the operations of the Institution, that I 
accepted the trust. Animated by a desire to secure the continuance 
of the wise i)olicy inaugurated and maintained by Professor Henry, — 
by a consciousness of familiarity with the varied duties required, — and 
by a natural sympathy of purpose resulting from a long association with 
him — ^holding steadily before me his example — ^I venture upon the ex- 
periment ; hoping only that the contrast of the pi^ent administration 
of the Institution with that of the past will not be too unfavorably marked. 

I may, perhaps, be pardoned for calling attention to the fact that my 
own connection with the Institution and association with Professor 
Henry dates back to the year 1850, and that consequently, for more than 
twenty-eight years, I have been engaged in carrying out the principles 
established by the late Secretary, and that the details of administration, 
and the general plans of operation, are consequently not unfamiliar to 
me. My association has indeed been, indirectly, longer than the time 
mentioned, since as early as 1848 I >'isited Professor Henry and was en- 
gaged by him to carry out certain researches in reference to the natural 
history of Pennsylvania, aided by a grant of money from the funds of 
the Institution, for the purpose. 

Although the fact of the death of Professor Henry was promptly 
spread over the United States and transmitted throughout the Old 
World by means of the telegraph, it was thought proper, in accordance 
with the usage of similar establishments, to make a formal announce- 
ment by a circular letter, addressed to the foreign correspondents of the 
Institution. A circular was accordingly prepared in the name of the 
Chancellor and widely distributed. This has elicited a great number of 
responses, containing gratifying expressions of condolence and sympathy. 

The regular session of the Board of Eegents for the winter of 1877 
was held in January, 1878, at which time the report for 1877 was pre- 
sented by Professor Henry and approved. An extra meeting was called 
on the 17th of May, on the day after Professor Henry's funeral, at which 
an election of his successor took place, and arrangements were made {or 
a proper eulogy and the memorial meeting in January, 1879. 

The law of Congress establishing and organizing the Smithsonian 
Institution makes no provision for the discharge of the duties of the 
chief officer by any person other than the Secretary ; and as no bills for 
services, for salaries, labor, supplies, &c., can be paid without his 
indorsement, the disability or death of the Secretary during the recess 
of the meetings of the Board is likely to involve very serious difficulties. 
For the purpose of providing for this contingency. Senator Hamlin, a 
Begent of the Institution, has introduced a joint resolution into the 
Senate, providing that in case of the death, disability, or absence of the 
Secretary, the Chancellor be ^npowered to appoint some one to discharge 

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his duties until any necessary provision can be made by the Board in 
full session, it not being expected that the Board could be brought 
together outside of the period of the meeting of Congress. This reso- 
lution has akeady passed the Senate, and it is hoped will soon pass the 
House and become a law. 

The only change in the Board of Begents to be placed on record is 
the resignation of Mr. Bancroft and the election of General Sherman, a 
former Begent, to fill his place. General Sherman was also elected by 
tlie Board at its special meeting of the 17th of May to serve as one of 
the Executive Committee. 

The continued expansion of the operations of the Institution, especially 
tliose connected with its department of international exchanges, has 
called for accommodations more extended than those that have been 
available; and Professor Henry, for some time before his death, had in 
contemplation a removal from that portion of the building occupied by 
his fSEunily, to a private residence in the city. He was considering this 
question more urgently when his illness sux)ervened, and of course inter- 
rupted any further action on his part. 

Although the occupation of the east wing of the building free of rent 
was one of the privileges of the Secretary of the Institution, I found 
that idl the rooms in the building could be used to great advantage as 
offices of the Institution ; and I therefore determined, with the consent 
of the members of the Executive Committee, to devote them to that 
purpose. A door was ox)ened in the wall separating the present rooms 
from the apartments adjacent to them, and some other trifling inex- 
-pesmye alterations were made, by which the entire house was trans- 
formed into a series of offices and work-rooms. Every room is now in 
use, and tiie entire force of clerks and employes has been concentrated 
in the east range and wing, so that they are closely connected in their 
work, adfiing very greafly to -the efficiency of operations. 

A system of electric bells and telephones has been established through- 
out the building, by means of which instant communication can be had 
between the several offices and work-rooms without involving the loss 
of time required to pass from one to another, or without calling any one 
from his work. 


In the report of the Executive Committee will be found a detailed 
statement of the finances of the Institution, which are believed to be in 
a satisfactory state. The amount to the credit of the late Secretary at 
the time of his death was (8,522.98. This was transferred on the 28th 
of May, 1878, to the credit of his successor, with whom a new account 
was opened at the Treasury. The premium on the gold-bearing interest 
of the Smitiisonian endowment, which has heretofore constituted a more 
or less prominent item of the receipts for the year, has, of course, disap- 
peared; only a small percentage having been realized on the July pay- 
ment. As the natural counterpart to this, however, t|ju|^f^49^$^^i^ 


the price of labor and the decrease in the cost of many articles of gen- 
eral supply leaves the Institution in a correspondingly better financial 
condition than before. 

The following is a statement of the condition of the Smithson fond at 
the beginning of the year 1879 : 

The amoont originally received as the bequest of James 
Smithson, of England, deposited in the Treasury of the 
United States in accordance with the act of Congress of 

August 10, 1846 $515,169 00 

The residuary legacy of Smithson, received in 1865, depos- 
ited in the Treasury of the United States in accordance 
with the act of Congress of February 8, 1867 26, 210 63 

Total bequest of Smithson 541,379 63 

Amount deposited in the Treasury of the United States, 
as authorized by act of Congress of February 8, 1867, 
derived firom savings of income and increase in value of 

investments 108,620 37 

Amount received as the bequest of James Hamilton, of 
Carlisle, Pa., February 24, 1874 1, 000 00 

Total permanent Smithson fdnd in the Treasury of 
the United States, bearing interest at 6 per cent, 

payable semi-annually in gold- 651,000 00 

In addition to the above, there remains of the extra fund 
from savings, &c., in Virginia bonds and certificates, 
viz: Consolidated bonds, $58,700; deferred certificates, 
$29,375.07; fractional certificate, $50.13; total, $88,125.20, 

valued January, 1879, at 34,000 00 

Cash balance in United States Treasury at the beginning 
of the year 1879, for current expenses. ., 19, 632 67 

Total Smithson ftinds January 8, 1879 704, 632 57 


Some damage was done to the Smithsonian building by the severe 
storms of the summer of 1878, and considerable expense incurred in re- 
pairs. The finial on the west tower was blown oflf and a large number 
of slates torn away, all of which required reconstruction. The occasion 
was taken to give the gutters, spouts, and lightning-rods a thorough 
overhauling, leaving everything, it is believed, in the best condition. 
The basement has been cleaned and whitewashed, and all unserviceable 
material, including scrap-iron, &c., has been suitably disposed of. 


As has been frequently stated in former rei>orts, the publications of 
the Institution consist of three classes : The first, the ^^ Smithsonian Con- 
tributions to Knowledge"; the second, the ^^Smithsonian Mj£^v^^ 


Collections'^; and the third, the "Annual Beports of the Eegents" of 
the Institation. The works of the first class, the Smithsonian Contribu- 
tions to Ejiowledge, are published in quarto form, and are intended to 
embrace original memoirs, either the result of special investigations 
authorized and directed by the Institution, or prosecuted under other 
auspices and presented to it. The works of the second class, the Mis- 
cellaneous Collections, are similar in plan and construction to the "Con- 
tributions,'' but are in octavo form, and embrace more particularly mono- 
graphic and descriptive papers in natural history, formal or systematic 
lists of species of animals or plants, physical tables, reports on the pres- 
ent state of knowledge in some department of physical or biologic sci- 
ence, &c. As with the "Contributions,'^ each volume is composed of 
several distinct and independent papers, having no necessary connection 
with each other, the collection being determined chiefly by the aggregate 
number of pages suitable for a volume of average size. The average 
number of pages in the quarto volume is about 600; in the octavo volume, 
about 800. Each paper or memoir in either dass is separately paged and 
indexed, with its own title-page, so as to be complete in itself, and sepa- 
rately distributed according to its subject Of the quarto "Contribu- 
tions," twentyone volumes, and of the "Collections," fifteen volumes 
have been published. 

The Smithsonian annual reports commenced in 1847, and being made 
to Congress, are published by that authority, and not at the expense of 
the Smithson fund. The earlier reports of the Secretary were printed 
in small pamphlet editions, but were collected and reprinted with the 
report for 1853, and with this the series of bound volumes may be siaid 
to have begun. The number, or edition, ordered by Congress has varied 
from year to year,- but the proportion of copies placed at the disposal of 
the Institution has been distributed to its correspondents as fully and 
liberally as possible. 

Smithsonian ContrihutUms to Knowledge published in 1878. — ^For sev- 
eral years past the Institution has had in its archives a paper by the 
late Pro£ Henry J. Clark, relating to the LucemariaB, an extremely in- 
teresting group of marine animals closely allied to the AcaUphSy or 
Jelly-fish. The death of the author before the work could go to press, 
and the difficulty of finding any one willing to undertake the editing of 
it, prevented immediate action on the memoir; but Prof. A. E. Verrill hav- 
ing agreed to take charge of the work, it was at length put to press, and 
was finally published in 1878. The memoir consists of 138 quarto pages 
and eleven plates, and it has been distributed to the leading zoologists. 
The Institution is under great obligations to Professor Verrill for the 
careful and critical supervision of tlie typographical execution of the 
york, as well as for some important notes and rectifications. Mr. 
Samuel F. Clark, of Johns Hopkins University, is also entitied to the 
thanks of the Institution for assistance in revising proo& during the 
period when Professor Verrill was ilL r^ i 

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The second quarto memoir, published in 1878, is a paper by Mr. 
William H. Dall, ^<On the Bemains of later Prehistoric Man, obtained 
from caves in the Catherina Archipelago, Alaska Territory, and espe- 
cially from the caves of the Aleutian Islands.'' In the Secretary's re- 
port for 1875 (page 48) wiH be found a brief notice of some interesting 
mummified human remains from the Aleutian Islands presented by the 
Alaska Commercial Ck)mpany. These comprised a series of nine mum- 
mies from Kagaynul Island and one from Prince William's Sound. Mr. 
Dall's memoir on the subject has been printed, containing the result of 
a careful examination of these remains and the relics found with them, 
an account of the tradition and history relating to them, and such ex- 
planations of the manufacture, character, and use of the various asso- 
ciated articles a^ the author's observations during eight years in that 
region enabled him to frimish. Ten heliotype illustrations accompany 
the mmoir, which, though inferior to finely engraved views in an 
artistic point of view, oflfer a style better suited to convey a correct idea 
of the complicated details represented than any other mode of illustra- 
tion at present in use. 

Two remaining quarto papers now in press will be published early in 
the year 1879. The first of these is the memoir of Dr. S. Habel, describ- 
ing << The Sculptures of Santa Lucia Cosumalwhuapa, in Guatemala." 
As this interesting work was quite fully described in the Secretary's last 
Beport (for 1877, pages 13 to 16), it is unnecessary here to particularize 
it further. 

The other paper referred to (constituting the fourth of the above- 
mentioned series) is "A Classification and Synopsis of the TrochilidaB," 
by Mr. D. G. Elliot. The beautifril and brilliant-colored "metallic" 
plumage of the humming-birds in many instance^L assumes, among 
individuals of the same species, widely-contrasted hues, rendering 
the correct identification of the species by the naturalist only possible 
through a considerable experience or the opportunity of examining a 
large series of specimens. Within the past ten years a large number of 
new species have been discovered in this group, supplying important 
links between previously-known species that could not have beep here- 
tofore harmoniously ranged in the famOy. The vast collection which 
has produced the material for this work contain^ many types and speci- 
mens of great rarity, obtained from such well-known trochilidists as 
Bourcier, Gould, Verreaux, &c. Of the 426 species acknowledged in the 
work as worthy of such rank, 380 are contained in the author's collection, 
represented by about 1,800 specimens. A novel feature of the work is 
the engraving that accompanies the diagnosis of each genus, illustrating 
the characteristics by which any specimen may be readily referred to its 
prox)er genus. The characters recognized as most important for deter- 
mining a system of classification are taken from t^e male bird alone, it 
being found impossible to harmonize in so large a group any that should 
be selected from tlie two sexes indiscriminately. The present synopsis 

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will be useful both to the student and to the naturalist by enabling 
them to easily identify their specimens, and will assist them to a natural 
classification of the family. 

Miscellaneous Collections pvblkhed in 1878. — ^Among the "Collections'' 
published in the past year have been several very important circulars 
intended to facilitate the collection of material for scientific research. 
The first of these, prepared by Prof. O. T. Mason, at the request of the 
Institution, relates to the various remains of American archaeology scat- 
tered throughout different parts of our continent, consisting of mounds, 
earthworks, ditches, graves, &c. A vast amount of isolated and discon- 
nected research has been directed toward these objects, in most cases 
by persons ignorant of the true method of examination or of the precise 
nature of the problems to be solved in connection with them. The cir- 
cular referred to comprises 15 pages, indicating the features of special 
interest, a record of which it is desired to possess, and giving a table of 
symbols to be used to secure uniformity of illustration and fecility of 
reference. It also invites conMbutions of notes, surveys, maps, illus- 
trations, &c., of the objects, and also requests the contribution of such 
specimens as may be found in the localities described, including stone 
implements, pottery, bone tools, &c. Of this circular many thousand 
copies have been distributed, and these have elicited a vast amount of 
materiaL This is all carefuUy and systematically classified and arranged, 
and as soon as it appears to be measurably complete it will be placed in 
the hands of one or more specialists, by the aid of whom it is hoped the 
Institution may be able to prepare an exhaustive treatise on thesub- 
iect which wiU mark as important a stage of progress in the history of 
American archaeology as was done by its publication, in 1849, of Squier 
& Davis's work upon the ancient mounds of the Mississippi Valley. 

The second circular published was one prepared by P. R. Uhler, of 
Baltimore, in reference to the collection of specimens of craw-fishes. This 
group of fresh-water crustaceans, which is found in most parts of the world, 
with some curious exceptions, furnishes an interesting field for inquiry into 
the modifications produced in animal forms by certain physical or other 
conditions. Professor Huxley, among others, having lately prepared an 
elaborate paper upon the subject. In previous years quite a number of 
new craw-fishes were described from the collections of the National 
Museum, by Mr. Charles Girard. The group was afterwards made the 
subject of a very comprehensive investigation by Dr. H. Hagen, of 
Cambridge. It is, however, thought that there is room for still further 
inquiry, and the material in possession of the Smithsonian Institution 
will be placed in the hands of competent specialists for investigation. 
In the circular an illustration of the craw-fish is given, for which the 
Institution is indebted to Messrs. Appleton & Co., Kew York. 

The third circular, to form part of a forthcoming volume of Smithson- 
ian Miscellaneous Collections, is in reference to the living reptile^ ^ 

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North America. The United States Fish Commission, under the an- 
spices of the Smithsonian Institution, exhibited at the Philadelphia 
Centennial of 1876 an extremely interesting series of plaster and papier 
mach6 casts of fishes, cetaceans, and some reptiles, all carefully colored 
from nature, and representing a much larger number of such objects than 
had ever been brought together under one roof. Since that time the 
artists connected with the National Museum have been diligently en- 
gaged in extending and improving the series, and for nearly two years 
past their efforts have been conducted especially in the line of the rep- 
tiles. The circular in question was intended to indicate precisely the 
forms or species desired, and it has been extensively distributed. As 
the result, the Institution was the recipient, in 1878, of very large num- 
bers of living turtles, serpents, lizards, salamanders, &c., the greater por- 
tion of which has been carefully molded and reproduced in artistic style. 
It is believed that no museum extant can show such a series of serpents, 
in their natural attitudes, as is now on exhibition in the National 

Another publication of 1878 is a new " List of Foreign Corresjwnd- 
ents.'' The rapid increase in the number of sdentific establishments in 
relationship with the Institution requires a new edition of this list every 
few years ; and although the present one is much more extensive than 
that published in 1872 (containing 2333 numbers of titles as compared 
with 1919), even now arrangements are being made by the Institution for a 
still more complete and exhaustive edition. With this view a circular 
has been sent to all the names upon the present list, asking for rectifi- 
cations or typographic corrections, and the addition of any addresses 
of public libraries, learned societies, or scientific bureaus of govern- 
ments not already included. The Institution also requested secretaries 
of societies to furnish a list of the names and addresses of persons act- 
ively engaged in scientific or literary investigations in their respective 
towns, together with the particular branches of learning to which each 
was devoted, with the view of facilita^ting communication and exchanges 
with specialists in all parts of the world. The responses to these re- 
quests are coming in rapidly ; and when all are received, a suitable ar- 
rangement and publication of the material will be made. 

Twenty years ago (in 1858), the Institution published a list of the 
Diptera (flies, musquitoes, &c) of North America, by Baron R. Osten- 
Sacken, at that time attached to the Eussian Legation at Washington. 
The author, although especially a student of the order of diptera, ^^as 
interested in other groups, and coming to the United States at a tune 
when our entomologists were few and widely scattered, he devoted a 
considerable part of his leisure to travel over the country, making the 
personal acquaintance of most of those interested in this branch of natu- 
ral history. In that connection he rendered a valuable aid to the ex- 
tension of Americiin entomoiogic science, which is entitled to public 
recognition. Thn)ugh his efforts numerous entomologists, situated far 

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apart, and proBecuting studies of a similar character, without the knowl- 
edge of other labors than their own, were brought into relations of 
correspondence and exchange, and thus, by their mutual sympathy and 
8upi)ort, and by the concentration of efiSort on the part of each to some 
special line of research, the common interest of science was advanced. 
We regret to say that after many years sojourn in this country. Baron 
Osten-Sacken has returned to Europe, where, however, his assistance 
is continually invoked by entomologists desiring information in regard 
to type specimens, books not procurable in the United States, &c. 

The list of Diptera aforesaid (published in the Miscellaneous Oollec- 
tions) brought together a mass of references to the descriptions of about 
1,800 species, scattered in more than one hundred different works 
and scientific i>apers. Such a publication was an indispensable prelim- 
inary step before any study of the diptera could be attempted. This 
formed the first of a series of works undertaken by the Institution to 
facilitate the study of entomcdogy, which has included diptera, coleop- 
tera, lepidoptera, neuroptera, and hymenoptera. 

During the past year the work of Baron Osten-Sacken, much extended 
by his later critical studies, has been republished by the Institution. 
This new edition of the work is not merely a revision of the catalogue 
published twenty years ago; but it is an entirely new one prepared on 
a different plan. The difference between eleven and sixty-sixj the num- 
ber of species of one genus, Tnfpetay represents the addition made to 
our knowledge during the interval between the two catalogues. Other 
genera give similar results. Another important difference between the 
old and new catalogues consists in the fact that the majority of the 
species enumerated in the latter are represented in a collection now in the 
Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, Mass., which contains 
over 2,000 named and described species of diptera ifrom North America. 
The region embraced in the present catalogue is the whole of North 
AmfTica, including the West Indies. It has been the effort of the 
author to make sure that every name in the list should actually rep- 
resent a diffiBrent species. To attain this result, he visited and examined 
the museums in London, Paris, Lille, Berlin, Frankfort, Darmstadt, 
Turin, and Vienna. Of all orders of insects the diptera offer probably 
the most difficulties to the describer, arising from the minuteness of the 
chiu'acters on which generic and specific distinction are based. Each 
family requires a special study, and a dipterologist may be very well 
versed in some families, without being able to express any opinion with 
regard to questions concerning others. In the introduction to the cata- 
logue, the author presents some recommendations as to the best course 
to be pursued in the study of diptera, and advises specialization. 
Amateurs may collect and name specimens, but should not publish 
anything until they have chosen some single family and nearly ex- 
hausted it by study and collecting. '^The exhaustive study of a single 
fjEunily is fiur more remunerative both in pleasure and in usefulness 
8. Mis. 50 2 , (^(^iMi> 

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than the random description of numerous new species.'' The catalogue 
forms an octavo volume of 324 pages, and includes a full index. 

Another paper published in 1878, to be mentioned, is a " Botanical 
Index," prepared by Prof. Sereno Watson, of Cambridge, Mass. The 
purpose of this index is to furnish references to whatever has been pub- 
lished respecting the plants of ^orth America, under their Linnean spe- 
cific names, in works or pai)er8 that may be classed as belonging to sys- . 
tematic botany. For the region west of the Mississippi and for British 
America, the literature of which is almost wholly fragmentary and 
greatly scattered, and on account of which especially the work was orig- 
inally begun, it is intended to be complete. And it is essentially so also 
for the eastern flora, where, however, there is not the same necessity 
that the citations should be exhaustive. To avoid the perpetuation of 
errors it was desirable to eliminate false species and to correct wrong 
determinations wherever they had gone upon record. This could not 
have been thoroughly done without a complete revision of the flora 
itself, which was of course out of the question; nevertheless it was ren- 
dere4 to a considerable extent possible as respects the western uora, by 
the author's connection with the "Botany of California"; and in many 
other cases he was enabled to decide upon the validity of species, and 
to verify determinations or to settle doubtful synonymy by comparisons 
of specimens themselves in the collection of the Harvard Herbariunu 

The delays that have arisen in the preparation of the volume have 
not been without compensation in the far more complete and satis&ctory 
results which were only thus made possible; and the deficiencies of the 
earlier x)ortions are largely supplied by the copious appendix, which 
makes the whole essentially complete, up to the date of publication. 
The portion now printed covers the ground of Torrey and Gray's Flora 
of Forth America, which was published in 1838-1840, and is now so com* 
pletely out of date as to leave this portion of our botany nearly as much 
in need of revision as any other. Until such revision can be made 
(and it must still be delayed some years), the " Index " will necessarily 
be a partial substitute — in some respects sufficient, inasmuch as it shows 
what genera and species are recognized as forming our flora, and also as 
concerns the synonymy, which could not be given with any such com- 
pleteness, within the limits of the desired revision, and moreover suffi- 
cient in its references to all existing descriptions of those species. In 
any given case, these descriptions may indeed be practically inaccessible, 
or they may be incomplete or faulty, and it is herein that nothing can 
be a substitute for a " Flora," which shall bring together into one vol- 
ume perfected descriptions, together with such grouping of genera and 
species as to indicate their natural affinities. For the preparation of 
such a Flora, or for the study of any special i>ortion ot the field, the 
present Index will meantime be an important aid, giving as it were a 
skeletonized history of each individual species, and affording a clue to 
all that is known toward the needed filling out of the outline. The 

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total number of orders given in the Index is 69; of genera, 545; of 
species, 3,038. The work forms an octavo volume of 484 pages. 

A work too long delayed, and constituting a most important addition 
to the Miscellaneous Collections — a memoir of the founder, James Smith- 
son, with a collection of his published contributions to science, followed 
by a documentary history of the organization, rise, and progress of the 
Institution — ^has during the past year been collected and prepared, and 
is now in press. 

At a meeting of the Board of Regents, held January 23, 1878, it was 
resolved that the Secretary be requested to have a memoir of James 
Smithson prepared and published, to include all his scientific papers now 
accessible; and that the Secretary prepare and publish a history of the 
origin and progress of the Institution. In accordance with these resolu- 
tions, the Secretary directed Mr. William J. Ehees, the chief clerk, who 
had been connected with the Institution for more than twenty-five years, 
to commence the collection of material for these works, and on the death 
of Professor Henry, Mr. Bhees was requested to continue his labors. No 
compilation of this character having been previously attempted, the in- 
vestigation involved a laborious research. 

The scientific papers of Smithson, which originally appeared in the 
Philosophical Transactions of the Eoyal Society of London, and in Thom- 
son's Annals of Philosophy, have been collected and reprinted ; they 
occupy 120 octavo pages. These memoirs were submitted to several chem- 
ists and mineralogists for an estimate of the scientific value of Smith- 
son's researches, and the present acceptance or recognition of the results 
obtained by him. 

The history of the Institution contains the will of Smithson, the man- 
ner in which the bequest was obtained by the United States, the corre- 
spondence between Hon. Bichard Bush, the special agent of this govern- 
ment, and the of&cials and attorneys in England, an account of the suit 
in chancery which was found necessary to obtain the fund, an account 
of the residuary legacy or sum left in England as the principal of an 
annuity to the mother of the nephew of Smithson, and how this was 
finally obtained and added to the iund. The legislation of Congress in 
reference to the bequest is given, including a reprint of every resolution, 
memorial, report, speech, and act from the proceedings of Congress that 
have any reference to the fund or to the establishment and objects of the 
Smithsonian Institution, fix)m December 17, 1835, when President Jack- 
son first informed Congress of the bequest, down to the 1st January, 

The collection of this part of the history involved a minute examina- 
tion of every page of the "Globe," containing the report of the proceed- 
ings of Congress, and also a large number of documents and many of the 
records printed and in manuscript on file at the Capitol or elsewhere. 
The various plans proposed in the Senate and House of Bepresentatives 
for the carrying out the intentions of Smithson, by John Quincy Adams, 

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Mr. Eobbins, Mr. Choate, Mr. Marsh, Mr, Owen, and many others are 
given in full, and form an exce^ingly interesting exhibit of the views 
of men in political life as to the best means of increasing and diffusing 
knowledge. This part also includes the history of the controversy in 
relation to the management of the Institution arising from the resigna- 
tion of Mr. Choate from the Board of Eegents, and the speeches of Sen- 
ators Pearce, Mason, Douglas, Badger, and Clayton, and of Kepre«enta* 
tives English and Meacham, together with the reports of the Senate 
Judiciary Committee, and of a si)ecial committee of the House. As 
throwing light on much of Congressional action and to show the intense 
interest Mr. John Qutocy Adams felt in the bequest, copious extracts 
are made from his diaries. 

The volume also contains the various plans proposed for the organiza- 
tion of the Institution by scientific and literary men, including Mr. Bush, 
Dr. Wayland, Dr. Cooper, Dr. Chapin, with the report of the committee 
of organization of the Board of Eegents ; the programme presented by 
Professor Henry in December, 1847, and the opinions of this programme 
expressed by Dr. Beck, Professor Silliman, Dr. Gray, the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, the presidents of Columbia, Williams, 
Hamilton, Delaware, Pen nsylvania^^ Georgetown, Amherst, Saint John's, 
Brown, Bowdoin, Charleston, Hampden Sidney, Madison, William and 
Mary, Cumberland, Alabama, Marietta, Tennessee, Korth Carolina, 
Trinity, and many other colleges and societies. 

These articles will form parts of the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Col- 
lections, and will not only be of interest to the Eegents and those imme- 
diately connected with the management of the Institution, but to all who 
wish *o ascertain the views and acts of some of our most prominent men 
in relation to science for nearly half a century. The history of the 
Institution will show what difficulties surrounded its organization, the 
diversity of opinion as to its proper functions, the opposition to be over- 
come, and the value of the wide and comprehensive plans of the Secre- 
tary, Professor Henry, to whose clearness of conception, firmness of 
purpose, and purity of character the success of the Institution is mainly 
indebted. His views, though but little understood and appreciated at 
first, have steadily gained the favor of the scientific and literary world, 
and are now universally recognized as the best adapted to accomplish 
the great purpose of Smithson. 

Bulletins of the National Museum. — In the Secretary's Eeport for 1875 
(page 14) it was stated that, during the past year another series of pub- 
lications, which would form a part of the Miscellaneous Collections, had 
been commenced under the above title. This series is intended to illustrate 
the collections of natural history and ethnology belonging to the CTnited 
States, and constituting the stock of the National Museum, of which 
the Smithsonian Institution is the custodian. These bulletins, prepared 
at the request and mainly by the attaches of the institution, have been 

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printed under the authority of the Secretary of tlie Interior. They form 
an independent series, which has proved very acceptable to naturalists, 
as enabling them to obtain prompt information as to the additions to 
and the components of the National Museum. 

The following is a list of the Bulletins already published: 

No. 1. Check-list of North American Batrachia and Beptilia; by 
•Edward D. Cope. 1875. 106 pp. 

No. 2. Contributions to the Natural History of Kerguelen Island; by 
J. H. Kidder, M. D.; Part I, OmiUiology; edited by Elliott Coues. 
1876. 61 pp. 

No. 3. Contributions to the Natural History of Kerguelen Island ; Pai c 
II, Oology, Botany, Geology, Mammals, Fish, Mollusks, Insects, Crus- 
taceans, Annelids, Echinoderms, Anthozoa; by Kidder, Coues, Gray, 
Endlich, Gill, Dall, Osten-Sacken, Hagen, S. J. Smith, Yerrill, and S. F. 
Clark. 1876. 122 pp. ' 

No. 4. Birds of Southwestern Mexico ; collected by Francis E. Sumi- 
chrast. By George N. Lawrence. 1876. 56 pp. 

No. 5. Catalogue of the Fishes of the Bermudas; by G. Brown Goode. 

1876. 82 pp. 

No. 6. Classiflcationof the collection to illustrate the Animal Resources 
of the United States; by G. Brown* Goode. 1876. 139 pp. 

No. 7. Contributions to the Natural Histor^^ of' the Hawaiian and 
Fcinning Islands, and Lower Califomia; by Thomas H. Streets, M. D. 

1877. 172 pp. 

No. 8. Index to the names which have been applied to the subdivisions 
of the class Brachiopoda previous to the year 1877 ; by William H. DaU. 
1877. 88 pp. 

No. 9. Contributions to North American Ichthyology; Parti; Keviow 
of Hafinesque^s Memoirs on North American Fishes ; by Da\id S. Jordan. 
1877. 53 pp. 

No. 10. Contributions to North American Ichthyology; Part 11; Cot- 
tidae, EtheostomatidfiB, PercidaB, Centrarchidse, Aphododeridse, Doryso- 
matidsB, Cyprinidae, SiluridsB. By D. S. Jordan. 1878. 120 pp., with 
45 plates. • 

No. 11. Not yet published. 

No. 12. Contributions to North American Ichthyology; Part III; by 
D. S. Jordan and A. W. Brayton. 1878. 237 pp. 

Of the above, those published during the past year are the Bulletins 
numbered 10 and 12. The former comprises the second part of Prof. 
David S. Jordan's Contributions to North American Ichthyology, and 
includes notes on CottidsB, Etheostomatidse, Percidas, Ceutrarchidse, 
AphododeridflB, DorysomatidsB, and Cyprinidae, with revisions of the 
genera and descriptions of new or little known species ; and Synopsis 
of the SiluridaB of the fresh waters of North America, with a bibliogra- 
phy of all the genera and species. It forms an octavo pamphlet of 120 
pages, with 45 plates. 

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The latter (So. 12) comprises the third part of Contributions to North 
American Ichthyology, including the distribution of the fishes of the 
Allegheny region of South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, with de- 
scriptions of new or little known species; by David S. Jordan and 
Alembert W. Brayton. This paper is based primarily on the collections 
made by the authors and a party of students of Butler University, 
Ohio, during the summer of 1877, in various streams in the Southern 
States, classified under the following basins: 1, Santee; 2, Savannali; 
3, Altamaha; 4, Chattahoochie; 5, Alabama; G, Tennessee; 7, Cum- 
berland. In the course of the investigations detailed in this paper some 
light has been thrown on the laws which govern the distribution of fresh- 
water fishes in general. A synopsis is also given of the £a>mily Catosto- 
midsB ; by David S. Jordan, and a bibliography is given of all tie known 
works on CatostomidsB. 

Proceedings of the National Museum. — In imitation of the practice of 
those learned societies which publish x>eriodically descriptions of new 
species, &c., in the form of proceedings of weekly or monthly meetings, 
and thus present to the w;orld the discoveries connected with the estab- 
lishment at the earliest practicable moment, it appeared to be very desir- 
able that the National Museum should have some medium of prompt 
publication for announcing descriptions of si)ecimen8 received (many of 
which are new species), as well as other interesting fisu^ts relative to 
natural history fiirnished by the correspondents of the Institution. To 
meet this want, an order was obtained firam the honorable Secretary of 
the Interior, authorizing the publication of a volume of "Proceedings 
of the National Museum" for the year 1878, not to exceed 600 pages. 

The publication of the " Proceedings of the National Museum " has 
accordingly been commenced, the work comprising short descriptions of 
the additions to the Museum, and accounts of new species, or illustra- 
tions of species collected in particular regions of country. It is printed 
in successive signatures, as fast as copy suf&cient for 16 pages is pre- 
pared, each signature having printed at the bottom of its first page the 
date of actual issue, for settling any questions as to priority of publica- 
tion. It is at once distributed to scientiflc societies and leading natu- 
ralists in this country and in Europe. A large number of important 
articles of greater or less length have already been printed, to form the 
volume for 1878, now nearly completed. They consist of articles 
on new species of fishes collected by the United States Fish Commission ; 
papers on the birds of the West Indies, collected under the auspices of 
the Smithsonian Institution^ &c. Of this series, about 250 pages have 
been printed during the year 1878, being produced (as in the case of 
" Bulletins'') at the expense of the Interior Department, by which all the 
disbursements connected with the service of the National Museum are 

Reports of the United States Fish Commission, — A series of publications 
which may bo considered as in some respects connected with the work 
of the Institution not only in t\iQ personnel^ but inj,^e^ ^^jc^^l^Mnatu- 


ral history discussed and in the resulting contributions to our knowledge 
may properly be here noticed. He present Secretary being at the head 
of the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, and the work 
accomplished by this agency in increasing and diffusing scientific as well 
as practical information being quite within the objects and province of 
the Institution, much of the material would legitimately form a portion 
of the Smithsonian Contributions or Miscellaneous Collections. These 
reports are, however, published by the government, and are distributed 
by Congress. 

Four volumes of this series have been published, each being of octavo 
size and comprising about 1,000 pages. The last of these reports, pub- 
li^ed in 1878, contains 1,089 pages, and embraces : (A) General con- 
siderations on the progress of operations ; (B) Inquiry into the decrease 
of the food-fishes ; (C) The propagation of food-fishes, as the shad, the 
salmon, the white-fish, and the carp; (D) Tables showing the distribu- 
tion of shad, salmon, &c., the places, dates, and quantitie^s hatched by 
the United States Fish Commission from 1872 to 1876. The Appendix 
contains a number of important papers, the most elaborate of which is a 
history of the American whale fisheiy, by Capt. Alexander Starbnck. 
This is followed by one on the carp and its culture, by Eudolph HesseL 

Smitlisanian annual report. — ^Tbe Annual Report of the Institution for 
1877 was transmitted to Congress on the 6th of February, 1878, and 
10,500 extra copies of it were ordered to be printed, 1,000 for the use 
of the Senate, 3,000 for the House of Representatives, and 6,500 for the 
Institution. It forms an octavo volume of 500 pages, with 49 wood-cut 
illustrations. The principal articles in the Appendix are a list of the 
more important explorations and expeditions, the collections of which 
have constituted the main sources of supply for the National Museum 
from 1850 (and even earlier) to 1877 ; a trandation of Holmgren's memoir 
on color-blindness, in connection with which is reprinted an article on 
the same subject by Professor Henry, published in 1845; translations of 
the reports of the transactions of the Geneva Society of Physics and 
Natural History for 1875, 1876, and 1877, of Weisman's article on the 
change of the Mexican Axolotl to an Amblystoma, and of short memoirs 
on meteorological subjects, byHann, Reye, Sohncke, Colding, and Pes- 
lin ; notes on the history and climate of New Mexico, by Thomas Mc- 
Parlin, and brief articles on ethnological topics, by C. Rau, George L. 
Cannon, Moses Strong, J. N. de Hart, B. E. Breed, M. W. Moulton, Mrs. 
Gilbert Knapp, W. H. R. Lykins, James Shaw, J. Cochrane, George W. 
Hill, H. B. Case, F. MiDer, Joseph Friel, W. M. Clark, Charies C. Jones, 
jr., W. B. F. Bailey, A. S. Gaines, K. M. Cunningham, S. S. Haldeman, 
A. M. Harrison, S. P. Mayberry, William M. Taylor, Edwin M. Shepard, 
George J, Gibbs, F. L. Gait, and Stephen Bowers. 


As in previous years, the subject of the anthropology of North Ar 
received special attention from the Institution. Its earliestoOQlc 


tion,.coii8titatmg the first volume of the ^^Smithsonian Contribntions 
to Knowledge,'^ was the work of Squier and Davis on the ancient 
monuments of the Mississippi Valley ; and to this the inquiries of the 
past third of a century into the early history of man in the Northwest 
owe their chief impetus. The book is a universal guide, and is even now 
a standard. The edition at the command of the Institution has long 
since been exhausted, and it has been proposed to republish it to meet 
the urgent calls of the public Unfortunately, the destruction of the 
wood-cuts by the fire of 1865 would render the cost of reproducing them 
so great as to make it doubtful whether it would not be better to use the 
money that would be needed for it in the preparation of a more ex- 
tended work on the same subject, which has been in contemplation by 
the Institution for several years past. 

In the list of publications of the year is mentioned an arohsBological 
circular, prepared by Professor Mason, and distributed in very large 
numbers. The object of this- has been to secure information of the 
minutest details in reference to the construction of mounds, earthworks, 
and other traces of aboriginal engineering, as well as of articles of every 
description and character found in the mounds, in the graves, and in 
the superficial soil. 

The answers to this circular have been unexpectedly abundant and 
varied, and a great mass of material is now in the possession of the In- 
stitution and in process of elaboration. The papers in relation to the 
mounds, earth-works, &c«, are placed iji the hands of Professor Mason, of 
Columbian University, for critical investigation and examination ; and 
under his editorship they will be arranged and ultimately printed, to- 
gether with numerous illustrations which accompany them. A series 
of maps will also be completed, containing information obtained from 
these and other sources, so that we shall have some satisfactory idea of 
their geographical distribution, extent, &c., throughout the country. 

The investigation of the aboriginal relics is in charge of Prof. Charles 
Kan, the superintendent of the archaeological department of the National 
Museum. As preliminary to a systematic work in this direction Pro£ 
Ban has lately completed the rearrangement of the archsBological col- 
lections of the Museum, carefully eliminating the duplicates, but retain- 
ing whatever may serve to illustrate the geographical distribution of 
forms and material, or the variation in pattern. Under his direction, 
also, numerous drawings have been made on wood and partially engraved. 

A detailed statement of the donations to the National Museum relat- 
ing to this branch of science will be found in the list of Contributors to 
the Museum, and also in the general account given subsequently, of 
the several additions to the Museum. It may, however, be well to call 
special attention to two northern collections in this department ; one 
received from Mr. E. W. Nelson, a signal -station observer at Saint 
Michaels, in Alaska ; the other from Mr. L. Kumlien, the naturalist of 
the Howgate expedition to Arctic America. These illustrate very fully 

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the nature and character of art among the Esquimaux on both sides of 
the continent, and with what has been heretofore obtained from the 
same region, as also the coast of Arctic America, throngh the agency 
of Mr. B. B. McFarlane, render this series the most complete of its kind 
in existence. 

Special acknowledgment is due to the American Express Company, 
throngh Jas. 0. Fargo, esq., general superintendent, for giving instrac- 
tions to all the agents of the company to co-operate with the Institution 
in the collection of archseological material for the Museum. 


Among the first objects of consideration by Professor Henry, after 
the commencement of actiye operations on the part of the Smithsonian 
Institution, was that of meteorology, and for more than twenty -five 
yeara ithasreceivedalarge proportion of hisown attention and considera- 
tion, as well as the aid of the Institution as far as its means would 
permit. Prior to the period named more or less attention had been paid 
to the subject, and efforts had been made to secure an extensive and 
continuous series of observations. These, for the most part, however, 
were limited to single places, an4 more rarely extended to counties or 
States ; and it is to Professor Henry that we owe the establishment of 
a uniform system over an entire continent. Little by little the work was 
extended until, at the time of its ftdlest activity, it had its agents in 
nearly every county of most of the States of the Union ; indeed, through- 
out the whole of British North America, and even in the remotest post 
of the Hudson's Bay Company, in Mexico and Central America, the 
services of observers were utilized. Some of these were provided with 
full sets of meteorological apparatus, so that observations could be made 
with the utmost precision j others had only a thermometer and barom- 
eter, while still others had nothing but a thermometer. 

Several different series of blanks were distributed by the Institution 
corresponding to the different classes. The blanks were returned 
monthly and duly filed. In the earlier part of the work some instru- 
ments were fhmished, such as barometers and thermometers. Subse- 
quently, however, it was found that the expense was too great, and only 
occasionally were thermometers and rain-gauges supplied. There was, 
however, no lack of persons who were ready to take part in this system, 
and not only to give their time, but also to purchase their own instru- 

The interest of the observers was maintained by a constant corre- 
spondence with the Institution. Copies of the Smithsonian Reports 
and other publications were duly transmitted to them, and any inquiries 
or communications from them on scientific subjects were promptly re- 
sponded to. 

In this way a bpdy of collaborators was secured to the Institution, 
whose services cannot be overestimated, since they not only furnish 

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information relating to meteorology, but they were always ready to sup- 
ply information and assistance in other directions. To tiiat body of men 
the National Museum owes a very large part of the extensive and com- 
plete series of illustrations of Korth American natural history that gives 
to it so great a prominence^ this being the result of successive applica- 
tions for aid from particular classes. Thus, whenever the attention of 
the Institution was directed to the fact that some particular branch of 
natural history required its fostering care, circulars were prepared and 
issued to the meteorological correspondents, invoking co-operation, and 
asking them to collect objects of the kind that might be found in their 
neighborhood, so that, not only all North American species might be 
giathered, but accurate determinations made of their geographical dis- 
tribution. Very extensive resiK)nses usually followed these appeals, 
and in many cases sufQcient material was secured to place the sabject 
*on a permanent and satisfactory basis. The works of the Institution on 
many orders of insects and on iresh- water and land shells, reptiles, 
birds, mammals, &c., were all based more or less entirely on collections 
and information obtained by the Smithsonian observers. 

As a result, therefore, of over twenty-five years' observations by such 
men, the mass of meteorological information obtained became very great, 
and even though a certain per cent, of the observations could not lay 
claim to that minute accuracy which is generally required, yet it was 
found that, for many purposes, such as the general indications of varia- 
tions in temperature, barometrical pressure, rain-fall, &c., in the colla- 
tion of all observations the errors disappeared, and an average was se- 
cured which did not differ essentially from what would have been derived 
from more accurate observations. 

The results of these observations have been published by the Institu- 
tion in several forms. During the time when the work was carried on 
partly by the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, the reports 
of that establishment contained the general results. In 1855, two quarto 
volumes were published at the expense of the government. Subsequently, 
however, a system of special digests was undertaken under the super- 
vision of Professor Coffin, for the winds; and of the temperature, rain- 
fall, &c., under Mr. Charles A. Schott, of the United States Coast Sur- 
vey, a full account of which will be found in the former reports of the 

A second edition of the work on the Winds of the Globe, commenced 
by Professor Coffin, and unfinished at his death, a few years ago, was 
completed under the auspices of his son, and i)ublished by the Insti- 
tution. This is one of the most important treatises on meteorological 
science that has ever appeared &om any press. 

Shortly after being honored with the appointment as Secretary, I in- 
vited a committee, consisting of Mr. Charles A. Schott, Prof. Cleveland 
Abb6, and Mr. William Ferrel, to consider the subject of the unfinished 
meteorological work of the Institution, and to suggest a plan by which 

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it coald be carried on and completed, with due reference to the state of 
its finances* This committee met at the Institution and carefully con- 
sidered the whole subject, with the manuscripts before them, and con- 
cluded that a new edition of the rain-fall tables should be completed as 
soon as possible, this being a subject of great interest, both theoretically 
sund in its practical applications. An allowance was therefore made for 
the completion of this work, and it wiU be ready for the press during the 
present year. The publication of this new edition of the rain-fall tables 
will be commenced and completed as soon as practicable. The baro- 
metrical reductions, the digest of the periodical phenomena of animal 
and vegetable life, &c., will be prosecuted as rapidly as the funds of the 
Institution will warrant. 

It is, of course, unnecessary to refer to the fact that active operations 
in regard to meteorological observations, in accordance with the ]K>licy 
of Professor Henry have been transferred to the Weather Bureau of the 
Signal Department of the United States Army, under the care of General 
A. J. Myer, and that hereafter the meteorological expenditures will be 
confined to completing the presentation of the results obtained during the 
twenty-five years of the active work of the Institution in that direction. 


The appropriation made to Dr. H. C. Wood, jr. in 1876 and 1877 for 
experiments to determine the nature and cause of the increased tempera- 
ture of the body during fever has been expended and a report of the 
investigations is being prepared for publication by the Institution. A 
brief abstract of this memoir will be found in the appendix to this 

The first point to be determined was whether fever was as complex 
as it api)ears, or whether there be not some dominant symptom charac- 
teristic of the process. By artificially heating living animals, generally 
and locally, it was tbund that elevation of the bodily temperature is 
sufficient to produce all the nervous and circulatory symptoms of fever 
and that the cooling of the heated part is capable of removing the 
sjrmptoms, so that fever may be defined to be a morbid process which 
produces elevation of the bodily temperature. 

The next point was to determine whether the increase of the bodily 
temperature in fever was due to an increase of the amount of heat pro- 
duced, or to the failure of the body to throw off its heat. For this pur- 
pose the laws governing the production and loss of animal heat in health 
were studied by means of calorimetric and cardiometric observations on 
animals under various conditions, and it was determined that there is in 
the cortical region a nerve-center which controls the production of animal 

The subject of fever itself was then investigated. The experiments 
were mostly made upon dogs, each experiment continuing for from three 
to six days. Thermometrical readings were made every twenty mi^^ 

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by night and by day^ and the normal and febrile states were studied 
both when food was administered and when withheld. The result of 
this was to show that there are two sources of animal heat^ one fi*om the 
stored-up materials of the body^ and the other from the food, the first 
being the one manifested in fever. 

The results of the whole investigation are summed up in eleven con- 
clusions which are given in the abstract referred to. 

The publication of recent investigations of the motion of the moon* 
has rendered a re-discussion of the ancient solar eclipses desirable. 
This work has been commenced under the auspices of this Institution 
by Mr. D. P. Todd, M. A., Assistant Nautical Almanac Office. Hansen's 
tables of both the sun and moon are employed, the latter being corrected 
from the results of Professor Newcomb's researches. So far as the work 
has now progressed, the computations relate to seven eclipses — ^those 
of Thales, at Larissa, of Ennius, of Agathocles, at Stiklastad, and the 
two eclipses of the thirteenth century which have been discussed by 
Celoria, of Milan. The adopted value of the secular acceleration hav- 
ing been deduced from entirely independent data, it is hoped that this 
investigation will throw new light on the interpretation of the ancient 
eclipses, and point toward the true value of the secular acceleration 
which ought to be adopted in the construction of new tables of the moon. 
The progress of this investigation will be much facilitated by the new 
tables of eclipses, t now in press j and it is proposed to extend the original 
scope of the research to include a large number of supposed ancient 
ecliptic dates. 


The original act of Congress calls for a laboratory as one of the ele- 
mentary features of the Institution, and an establishment of this kind 
has always been maintained, with a greater or less degree of efficiency. 

In consequence of the limited appropriations by Congress for the 
maintenance of the ^National Museum, it has for several years been im- 
jwssible to secure the services of a mineralogist. Arrangements have 
been made, however, for such an officer ; the laboratory has been put in 
thorough order; additional fittings have been introduced, necessary for 
its efficiency, and a complete stock of chemicals and other materials 
procured. It is now in proper condition for the prosecution of investi- 
gations requiring chemical and mechanical appliances. 

The principal work of the laboratory at present is examining min- 
erals sent to the Institution for tiiat purpose fix)m various parts of the 
country, very few days passing without the reception of one or more par- 
cels, many of them from members of Congress, requiring consideration. 
The Institution does not undertake to make quantitative analyses, ex- 

• Researches on the Motion of the Moon. By Simon Newcomb, Professor U. S. Navy. 
Washington Observations for 1875, Appendix II. 

f Tables of Eclipses, from B. C. 700 to A. D. 2300. By Simon Kewcomb, Superin- 
tendent Nautical Almanac. Washington, 1879. 

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oeptisg in behalf of the govemment, but is always ready to indicate 
the general comx)08ition of specimens sent for the purpose. 

The laboratory will also be used in the identification of large quanti- 
ties of crude mineral substances in charge of the Institution, to be clas- 
sified preliminary to the selection of duplicates and their distribution 
to coUeges and academies of the United States. 


As in previous years, the Institution has served as the medium for tel- 
egraphic communication between astronomers of the Old and New 
World, in regard to such astronomical discoveries as require prompt 
announcement, for the purpose of having all their phenomena investi- 
gated by concurrent action on both sides of the ocean. An accompany- 
ing list represents the announcements referred to and the dates at which 
they were respectively made. This feature of the work of the Institu- 
tion is one of great importance, and is a very satisfactory demonstration 
of the extent to which its labors are prosecuted for the world in general, 
and not merely for a restricted portion of the United States. 

The following is a list of the minor planets discovered in 1878 : 






Ennike ... 
Celuta ... 
Menippo . 
Phthia .., 
Ismene .., 
Ko]«;a ... 


January 29 
February 2 
February 7 
February 8 
February 28 
March 1 

April C 

April 11 

June 18 

September 9 
September 22 
September 30 



Cottenot .... 




Pr. Henry . .. 



do ... .... .....•• 

er's No. 


















The comets of 1878 have been — 

Comet I, discovered July 7, by Lewis Swift, of Rochester, N. Y. 
This comet was observed in America by Dr. 0, H. F. Peters only, the 
majority of American observers being in the West on eclipse expeditions. 
It is probably identical with a comet discovered by P. Ferrari at Rome 
in Jnly. On July 20, Tempel's periodic comet was found by Winnecke, 
quite away from its ^hemeris place. 

Encke's comet was found on August 3 by Mr. Tebbutt, of Windsor, 
N. 8.W. 


Mention has been made by my lamented predecessor on several occa- 
sions of the general character of the correspondence of the Institu^ 

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and of its increasing extent. As might naturally be expected, this is 
now greater than ever before. 

During the past year the number of letters received and sent out ex- 
ceeded that for any previous corresponding period in the history of the 
establishment, the latter covering about 8,000 pages of press copy books. 
GChis increase was largely due^ 

(1) To renewed activity in the department of exchanges 5 

(2) To the execution of a comprehensive plan for extending the archse- 
ological cabinet of the Institution ; and 

(3) To the acknowledgment of letters of condolence on the death of 
the late Secretary. 

As explanatory of the first of these sources of increase in the corres- 
pondence it may be stated that some months since a systematic effort 
was made looking to the early completion of as many as possible of the 
series of publications of fdreign societies in the Smithsonian library, 
and, reciprocally, to supplying deficiencies in the numerous series of 
Smithsonian publications held abroad. To this end a communication 
was addressed to each of the nearly 3,000 foreign establishments in cor- 
respondence with this Institution, mentioning the volumes or parts of 
their respective transactions not at the time in possession of the Insti- 
tution, and requesting that these be supplied ; one of the conditions of 
a favorable response being a promise that the Smithsonian Institution 
would, in turn, fill whatever gaps it could in its own series. The re- 
sx>onses, a« was expected, were very prompt and most gratifying. Re- 
sulting therefix)m, the Smithsonian library — ^now constituting the science 
library of the government — ^has been enriched by the addition of hun- 
dreds of valuable works of a character not usually obtained even by 
purchase, while the Institution itself has been brought into closer and 
more active relations than ever with its foreign correspondents of both 

Begarding the second source of increase in the correspondence, it 
may be remarked that more recentiy a wide-spread distribution has been 
made of a circular relative to archsBology. Indeed, it is hardly too 
much to say that this circular has been scattered broadcast over the 
land. Kot only was it distributed to organized establishments of a lit- 
erary, educational, and scientific character, to newspapers, postmas- 
ters, and, by generous i)ermission of express companies, through their 
agents to individuals who might be known to them as specially inter- 
ested in the subject, but a copy was systematically mailed with each 
toritten communication sent out by the Institution, no matter what the 
subject. This circular has proved more prolific of correspondence than 
was anticipated by its most sanguine Mends. Inquiry soon followed 
inquiry for more detailed information as to desiderata in the way of 
specimens and information; requests were continuous to know if this or 
that article would be welcome; offers to lend objects for copying were 
numerous from individuals possessing unique and choice specimens, val- 

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uable to them only as heirlooms or curiosities, but who, while easily 
convinced of the little value of isolated collections in comparison with 
the importance to science of one grand, complete series, could not be 
persuaded to part with their archcBological treasures ; now and then 
private cabinets of more than ordinary character and extent have been 
brought to light; and, finally, modern << manu£Eictories''of relics have 
been detected, and in this way forgeries, to some extent, driven from 
the market. Thus cm extra amount of correspondence has been en- 
tailed that has proved no inconsiderable addition to the previous ardu^ 
ous labors of the officers of the Institution. 

As the result, the Institution has received hundreds of specimens firom 
dl parts of North America as gifts, while by making copies in plasty or 
metal it has added to its cabinet many forms that would otherwise be 
unknown and inaccessible to the student as well as to the public at large. 
Many of these objects have proved of great archaeological interest, and 
while not a few of them are almost indispensable for comparative study, 
all are more or less valuable in the elucidation of questions relating to the 
geographical distribution of aboriginal remains in the United States, and 
for filling gaps in State series. Moreover, by soliciting illustrations and 
descriptions of the rarer or more curious forms in private cabinets, the 
Institution has been saved much expense for transportation, its archaeo- 
logical experts rarely finding recourse to the original specimen necessary 
in determining what is or is not a desideratum. 

As in previous years, the InstitStion was the recipient in 1878 of a 
large number of communications, having as a principal object the over- 
turning of theories established by Newton and others, which, founded 
on exx>eriment and observation, have long since been accepted as true 
by the scientific world. These, as is usual with papers of this class, 
wliile purporting to fhmish the only rational explanation of the pheno- 
mena to be accounted for, generally displayed a degree of assumption 
entirely out of keeping with the spirit of true science; and while it 
would not be a work of much moment to prove to the unprejudiced, 
who may be acquainted with the subjects of such essays, that the pro- 
positions enunciated are wholly at variance with the fundamental and 
generally accepted principles of science, it is always exceedingly difficult 
to convince the authors of these " new doctrines'' that they are not in 
accord with the scientific world. It would sometimes appear either that 
they are incapable of receiving the truth, or that, convinced of the fed- 
lacy of their reasoning, they prefer to cling to a false notion of original- 
ity rather than confess their error. Such communications, never brief, 
have, from time to time, been simply reiterations of previous expres- 
sions. " Correspondence with this class'' of writers, as has been most 
truly observed by the late Secretary, is, indeed, "not only very onerous 
but difficult to manage, inasmuch as the r^ection of their propositions 
is generally attributed to prejudice." 

Another class of communications of a more intelligent character w^'* 

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also received during the past year, relating to subjects in physics and 
chemistry. In accordance with the custom of the establishment, these 
were sul^nitted to gentlemen eminent in the several sciences to which 
they pertained, who for many years have cheerfully acted as collabora- 
tors of the Institution. 

Although the Smithsonian system of meteorology was several yeai's 
ago transferred to the United States Signal Office, communications con- 
tinue to be received on practical questions connected with this subject. 
These with few exceptions have been referred to General Myer, and their 
authors so informed. 

But increase in the correspondence of the Institution is by no means 
wholly attributable to the sources above mentioned. As the character 
of the establishment has become more widely known from year to year, 
the number of applications for information in the line of natural history 
ha« annually increased, particularly in botany, zoology, and mineralogy. 
In the last branch, supposed discoveries of mineral wealth are frequently 
made known to the Institution, and the specimens forwarded for exam- 
ination — ^which is always gratuitous. The determination of their char- 
acter, however, seldom requires more than a qualitative analysis, and 
in the great majority of instances the specimens are fiDund to be of no 
commercial value. 


Gdiere is, perhaps, no one feature #f the Smithsonian Institution by 
which its mission for the diffusion of knowledge, if not itb increase, is 
more thoroughly accomplished than by its extended system of interna- 
tional exchanges. This began in the earliest days of the Institution, from 
the necessity of making some suitable arrangement by which its publi- 
cations might be promptiy transmitted to the learned societies of Amer- 
ica and the world, and corresponding works received in return. This 
required the organization of a thorough system, including si)ccial ar- 
rangements for transportation agencies in the various parts of the United 
States and of foreign countries ; and as the machinery was sufficient to 
carry a larger amount of material than that belonging to the Institution 
itself, it was considered in strict accordance with the policy of the In- 
stitution to offer its services to other establishments. 

Year by year the number of participators in the exchange was in- 
creased, and at the present date it is world-wide in its extent With 
very few exceptions the institutions of learning, not only of the United 
States but of all America, carry on the greater portion of their scientific 
exchanges with the rest of the world through the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion. Among the outside countries more especially to be mentioned 
are Canada, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, &c. 

The institutions are for the most part scientific societies publishing 
transactions, colleges and universities. State historical and agricultural 
societies, and technological institutions. All the departments of gov- 
ernment in Washington, with few exceptions, also depend upon the same 

• Digitized by V^OOQ l(^ 


system for their foreign relationships. The system also includes the ex- 
change of publications of special students in science. 

For a long time the Smithsonian Institution carried on this work by 
the establishment of agencies through which it« own transmissions were 
distribated to their destination, and from which all the returns were col- 
lected and forwarded to Washington. Of late years, however, in certain 
countries, these labors hare been materially lightened by a iX)rtion of 
the exchange being undertaken by some learned society or by the gov- 
ernment. These being constituted Smithsonian agents in their respect- 
ive conntries, receive whatever may be sent to them for distribution, 
collect the returns and transmit them, thus giving to the Institution the 
benefit of an intelligent superintendence of the work. The first of these 
organizations was that established some years ago by the University of 
Christiania, !IJorway 5 and by Holland in the patronage of the Scientific 
Bureaa at Harlem, under the eflScient supervision of Dr. E. H. Von 
Baamhauer. During the past year a similar organization has been 
effected for Belgium, and it is hoped that their number will continue to 
increase. Even now, without any formal arrangement to that effect, the 
Academies of Science of Stockholm, of Copenhagen, of Madrid, and of 
Milan discharge the services of agents of the Institution for their respect- 
ive countries. 

A still more recent movement has in contemplation the establishment 
of departments of exchange in all countries under the direction of their 
respective governments 5 and this is intended primarily to facilitate a 
mutual interchange of government documents, but is broad enough in 
its scope to include the publications of societies and of men of science. 
At present this arrangement has only been carried out formally for Bel- 
gium by the "Commission Beige d'Echanges internationaux,'' and for 
France by the " Commission Franjaise des Echanges intemationaux.'' 

In the Appendix will be found the usual series of tables, showing,, 
first, the number of parcels sent out by the Institution in behalf of es- 
tablishments in North America ; and, secondly, the packages received 
for the same parties. The total number of shipment of boxes, contain- 
ing such transmissions, has not been quite so great in 1878 as in the 
year preceding. This was due to the interruption of the business caused 
by the death of Professor Henry, and in the desire, by the reorgauiza- 
tion of departments, to give greater efficiency to that of the exchanges. 
On this account a large number of bundles have accumulated, which^ 
however, will be distributed in the earlier months of the year 5 after 
which there will bono interruption to the usual routine of transmission.. 

Up to the present time the entire expense of tliis system of interna- 
tional exchanges has been borne by the Smithsonian Institution, be- 
yond requiring that all outgoing parcels be dehvered to the Institution- 
free of expense. The enormous increase, however, in the number and. 
bulk of the packages dehvered to the Institution has made it necessary 
to charge a small amount on this class of transmissions, and under the 

S. Mis. 69 3 Digitized by ^OO^IC 



authority of the board, a circular has been prepared and issaed^ making 
one of the conditions of receipt the payment of five cents per x>oimd on 
the parcels. This is actually below the cost, as it includes the expense 
of wrapping, of boxing, of forwarding, and a share of the salary of em- 
ploy^ and agents, and other incidentals. It is about the same rate as 
is charged by the express companies for freight in bulk from Washing- 
ton to Chicago. 

To facilitate the business connected with the system of the Smith- 
sonian exchanges the following rules have been adopted : 

1. Transmissions through the Smithsonian Institution for foreign 
countries to be confined exclusively to books, pamphlets, charts, and 
other printed matter, sent as donations or exchanges, and not to in- 
clude those procured by purchase. The Institution and its agents will 
not receive for any address apparatus and instruments, philosophical, 
medical, &c. (including microscopes), whether purchased or presented; 
nor specimens of natural history, except where special permission from 
the Institution has been obtained. 

2. The Departments or Bureaus of the United States Government to 
pay the Smithsonian Institution five cents per pound on their packages, 
which includes all expense of boxing, shipping, and transportatidn. 

3. A list of the addresses and a statement of contents of each send- 
ing to be mailed to the Smithsonian Institution at or before the time of 

4. Packages to be legibly addressed and to be indorsed with the name 
of the sender and their contents. 

5. Packages to be enveloped in stout paper, and securely pasted or 
tied with strong twine — ^never sealed with wax. 

6. No package to a single address to exceed one-half of one cubic foot 
in bulk. 

7. To have no indosures of letters. 

8. To be delivered to the Smithsonian Institution or its agents free of 

9. To contain a blank acknowledgment, to be signed and returned by 
the party addressed. 

10. Should returns be desired, the fact is to be explicitly stated on or 
in the package. 

Unless these conditions are complied with, the parcels cannot be for- 
warded by the Institution. 

Statistics of exchanges sent during the last ten years. 











Nnmber of boxes . . 
Bulk in cubic feet 
























The following table exhibits the number of foreign establishments 
with which the Institution is at present in correspondence, or, in other 



words, to which it sends publications and from which it receives others 
in return: 

Foreign institutions in correspondence toith the Smithsonian Institution. 


Argentine Repnbhe 

Australia aud Tasmania. 
Aostro-HmigaTy . 




. 156 

Belgium 112 




British America 

Briti^ Oniana 

Cape Cokmj and St. Helena. 

Central America.. 





Dateh Gniana 





Great Britain and Ireland.... 













Italy , 






New Zealand 



Philippine Islands . 



Sandwich Islands. . 






West Indies 






















International societies . 

Total 2,333 

Special reference has been made in previous reports to the arrange- 
ment by which Congress places fifty copies of all the publications of 
the United States-Government at the disposal of the Library Committee 
of Congress. These copies are to be exchanged, under its direction, 
through the Smithsonian Institution, for correspondingly complete series 
of the publications of such other governments as agree to the proposi- 
tion. At present, the number of sets amounts to thirty- two, and includes 
the following governments. Of these, several came for the first time into 
the arrangement during the year 1878, and seventy-three bosses of the 
publications referred to, each box measuring seven cubic feet, have beem 
distributed : 

International exchange of government publications in 1878, 


Ai|^tine Republic . .« 2 

Bararia 11 

BtA^nm 2 

Brazil 2 

Buenos Ayres.... 2 

Canada (Ottawa) 2 

Canada (Toronto) 2 

Chili 8 

England 2 


France 2 

Geimany 2 

Greece 2 

Hayti 2 

Holland 2 

Japan 2 


New South Wales. 
New- Zealand . 

•— gitizVd-bvGoOgl^ 




Norway 2 

Portugal 2 

Prussia 2 

Queensland 2 

Saxony 2 

Scotland 2 

South Australia 2 

Spain • 2 


Sweden 2 

Switzerland 2 

Tasmania 2 

Turkey 2 

Venezuela 2 

Victoria 2 

Total 37 


In accordance with the arrangement entered into shortly after the 
fire of 1865, between the Smithsonian Institution and the Congress of 
the United States, all the publications received by the Institution, in 
exchange or by donation, are transferred to the Library of Congress. • 
The following enumeration represents the sum total of such increment : 

Statement of the boolcSj mapSj and charts received by the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution during the year 1878, and transferred to the Library of Congress. 


Octavo, or less 860 

Quarto, or larger 403 


Parts of volumes : 

Octavo, or less 2, 356 

Quarto, or larger 2, 620 

Pamphlets : 

Octavo, or less 1, 953 

Quarto,, or larger 463 


Maps and, charts. 




Of course, as heretofore, the more important works, like the publica- 
tions of the leading scientific and industrial societies and academies 
throughout the world, by their aggregations have continued to render 
the Smithsonian library one of the most valuable of the kind extant. It is 
believed that no collection elsewhere contains so large a number of vol- 
umes of scientific transactions and journals, or in so complete a series. 

For the purpose, however, of perfecting the catalogue, it is proiK)sed, 
in the early part of 1879, to print a list of what the Institution possesses 
of this character, inviting contributions of deficiencies and promising 
similar courtesy, so far as the publications of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion are concerned. 

The following is a list of some of the principal works received by the 
Smithsonian Institution in 1878 : . Digitized by ^OOg le 


From the Ministry of Public Works, Commerce, and Industry, Lisbon: 
O Archivo Eural, vols, i-xv, Lisboa, 1858-1874, 4to. Memoria sobre 
a Populajao e a Agricultura de Portugal, Lisboa, 1868, 8vo. Chimica 
Agricola, por J. I. F. Lapa, Lisboa, 1875, 8vo. Geographia e Estadistica 
Greral de Portugal e Colonias, por 6. A. Perry, Lisboa, 1875, 8vo. Be- 
latorio do Gonselho Especial de Veterinaria, Jjisboa, 1873, 4to. Manual 
de Viticultura pratica, por Visconde de Villa Major, Coimbra, 1875, 8vo. 
A Agricultura no Districto do Yizen, por J. B. Eeis, Lisboa, 1871, 4to. 
Fomento da Povoa^ao Rural em Hespana, por D. F. Caballero, Lisboa, 
1872, 8vo. A Lombardia a Suisse e o Monte Eosa, por E. de Laveleye, 
Lisboa, 1871, 8vo. Becenseamento Geral dos Gados no Continente do 
Beino de Portugal en 1870, Lisboa, 1873, 4to and Atlas. A Yinha e o 
Vinho em 1872, por A. B. Beis, Lisboa, 1873, 8vo. 

From the Society of Medical Sciences of Lisbon : Journal da Socie- 
dade das Sciencias Medicas de Lisboa, 1836-1877, Lisboa, 8vo (54 vols). 

From the Ministerio dos !N"egocias da Marinha e Ultramar, Direjcao 
Geral da Marinha, Lisboa: Bullarium Patronatts Portugalliae, curante 
Vicecomite de Paiva Manso, vols, i-iii, and App., vol. i, Lisboa, 1868-1873, 
4to (3 copies). Examen des Viagens do Doutor Livingstone, por Jos6 
de Lacerda, Lisboa, 1867, 8vo (3 copies). Belatorios dos Govemadores 
das Provincias Ultramarinhas, vols, i, ii, Lisboa, 1875, 4to (3 copies). 
Tratado de Hygiene Naval, jwr J. B. Fonssagrives, Lisboa, 1862, 8vo 
(3 copies). Descrip^ao e Boteiro da Costa Occidental de Africa, por A. 
Magno de Castilho, vols, i, ii, Lisboa, 1866, 8vo (3 copies). Africa Oc- 
cidental,- vol. i, Lisboa, 1864, 8vo (3 copies). Begulamento para o Ser- 
vi^o de Sande Naval, Lisboa, 1871, 8vo (3 copies). Viagem da Corveta 
Dom Joao I a Capital do Jap5o no Anno de 1869, Lisboa, 1863, 8vo (3 
copies). Historia Ecclesiastica Ultramarina i)elo Visconde de Paiva 
Manso, voL i, Africa Septentrional, Lisboa, 1872, 8vo (3 copies). Ensaios 
sobre 4 Estatistica das Possess5es Portuguezas no Ultramar, vols, i-v, 
Lisboa, 1844-1862, 8vo (3 copies). Begulament para o Servijo de- 
Fazenda a Bordo dos Navias do Estado, Lisboa, 1875, 8vo (3 copies). 
Belatorio &cerca do Service de Sande Publica, Lisboa, 1871, 8vo (3 
copies). As PossessOes Portuguezas na Oceania, por A. de Castro, 
Lisboa, 1867, (2 copies). Codigo Commercial de Signals para uso Inter- 
nacional, Lisboa, 1868, 8vo (2 copies), &c., &c. 

From the Australian Museum, Sydney : The Mammals of Australia, il- 
lustrated by Miss Harriett Scott and Mrs. Helena Forde. With a short 
account of all the species hitherto described. By Gerard Kreflft Syd- 
ney, 1871. Folio. 

From the Hellenic Philological Society of Constantinople: Periodical 
Journal (Greek), vols, iv-^iii, Constantinople, 1871-1874, small 4to. 
Homeric Theology, by George Konstantinidos (Greek), Constantinople, 
1876, 8vo, Les Grecs de PEmpire Ottoman, par A. Synvet, Constanti- 
nople, 1878, 8vo. 

From the Government of France: Direction G^n^rale ^ DouaMs, 


Tableau g^n^ral du Commerce de la Franee, aveo les Colonies et les 
Puissances 6toingferes, 1869-1875, Paris, 1871-1876, 4to (7 vols-). Table«ia 
g^n^ral des Mouvements du Cabotage, 1860-1875, Pans, 1871-1876, 4to 
(7 vols.). 

From the Medical Society of the State of New York, Albany: Traais- 
acticms, 1807-1831, 1867-1870, 1873-1877. Albany. 8vo (9 vols.) 

From the State Library of Pennsylvania, Hamsburg: Beports on 
Geology, Mineralogy, Oil- Wells, &c., &c. Harrisburg, 1876-1878. 8vo 
(21 vols.). 

From the Library of tiie German Parliament, Berlin : Stenographische 
Berichte liber die Verhandlungen des deutschen Beichstages. in. sess., 
1875-76, vols, i-iiij iv. sess., 1876, vols, i-iii; i. sess., 1877, vote, i-iii; 
Berlin, 1876-1877, 4to. Keichs-Gesetzblatt, 1875-1876, Berlin, 4to. 

From the University of Chile, Santiago: Anales de la Universidad de 
Chile, 1875-1876 (4 vols.), Santiago, 8vo. Memoria del Literior, 1876, vols, 
i-ii, Santiago, 8va Memoria de Belaciones Esteriores, 1876, Santiago, 
8vo. Memoria de Justicia, Culto, &c., 1876, Santiago, 8va Memoria de 
Hacienda, 1876, Santiago, 8vo. Memoria de Guerra y Marina, 1876, San- 
tiago, 8vo. Sesiones del Congreso National de Chile, 1875 (4 vols.), San- 
tiago, 4to. Anuario Estadistico de Chile, voL xvii, Santiago, 1876, 4to. 
Anuario Hidrograflco de la Marina de Chile, sMo ii-iii, Santiago, 1876- 
1877, 8vo. Quinto Censo Jen^^l de la Poblacion de Chile, 1875, Valpa- 
raiso, 1876, 4to. Coleccion de Tratados celebrados i>or la Beptiblica de 
Chile con los Estados estraujeros, tomo ii, Santiago, 1875, 4to. La Chili 
tel qu'il est, pax E. Seve, tome i, Valparaiso, 1876, 8vo. Historia de Chile, 
1831-1871, por Don R. S. Valdes, tomo i, Santiago, 1876, 8vo. La Cro- 
nica de 1810, por M. L. Amundtegni, tomo ii, Santiago, 1876, 8vo. Ensaye 
sobre los dep6sitos metaJiferos de Chile, por Bon I. Domeyko, Santiago, 
1876, 8vo. 

From the Boyal Academy of Sciences, Lisbon: Memorias da Acade- 
mia, Nova Serie, tomo iv, v, parte i, Lisboa, 1872-1877, 4to. Decada 13 
da Historia da India, i, ii, Lisboa, 1876, 4to. PortugallisB Monnmenta, 
2 parts, Lisboa, 1873, folio. Subsidies para a Historia da India Portu- 
gueza, tomo v, Lisboa, 1868, 4to. Corpo Diplomatico Portugueza, tomo 
V, Lisboa, 1874, 4to. Quadro Elementar dus BelaOes politicas e di|Ao- 
maticas de Portugal, vols, xii and xiii, Lisboa, 1874, 1876, 8vo. Flora 
Cochinchinensis, vcds. i, ii, Lisboa, 1790, 4to. Historia dos Estabeleci- 
mentos scientiticos e areisticos de Portugal, toms iii, vi, Lisbon, 1873- 
1876, 8vo. Jomal de Sciences Mathematicas, toms iv, v, Lisboa, 1873^ 
1876, 8vo. Tratado Elementar de Optica, Lisboa, 1874, 8vo. Historia 
de Congo, Lisboa, 1877, 8vo. Carro de Meteorologia, Lisboa, 1869^ 8vo. 
Chimica Agricola, Lisboa, 1875, 8vo. 

From the British Government : Facsimiles of fTational Manuscripts of 
Scotland, selected under the direction of the Bight Hon. Sir William 
Gibson-Craig, Bart., lord clerk register of Scotland, and photozinco- 
graphed by command of Her Majesty Queen Victoria by Colonel Sir 
Henry James, pai-t iii, Edinburgh, 1872, folio. Digitized by ^OOQ le 


From flie Royal library, Stockholm : Government Documents, 1877, 
1878, Stockholm, 17 v<^ and 8 parts, 4to. 

From the Crovenunent of South Australia, Adelaide: Acts and Ordi- 
nances of the Province of South Australia, 1837-1835, Adelaide, 4to 
(§ vols.). Proceedings of the Parliament of South Australia, 1867-'8, i, 
ii ; 1858, i, ii ; 185^, i, ii 5 1860, i-iii ; 1861, i-iii 5 1862, i-iii 5 1863, i ; 1864, 
i-iii; 1865, i, ii; 1865-^6, i, u; 1866-'7, i-iii; 1867, i-iii; 1868-^, i-iii; 
18eO-'70, i-iii; 1870^71, i-iii; 1871, i, ii; 1872, i-iii; 1873, i-iii; 1874, 
i4ii; 1875, i-iii; and special session, Adelaide, folio (53 vols.). Statis- 
tical Sketch of South Australia, by Josiah Boothby, London, 1876, 8vo. 

From the Norwegian Grovemment, Christiania : Norges Officielle Sta- 
tistik, 13 volumes and 43 parts, Christiania, 1870-1876. Forklaringer 
til K. Norges Statsregnskab, 1875, Christiania, 1876, 4to. 

From the second geological survey of Pennsylvania : Beports 1875- 
1878 (20 volumes). 

From the Universities of Wtlrzburg, Marburg, Berlin, Louvain, Bonn, 
Halle, Gottingen, Jena, Erlangen, Leipzig, Zurich, Greifewald, Heidel- 
berg, IK»pat, and Freiburg: Inaugural dissertations for 1877. 

'Erom Dr. A. Ernst, Caracas: Statistical documents, 24 volumes, 
Caracas, 1875-1877, 4to. 

From the Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Ontario : 18 volumes gov- 
eiBment documents. 

From the State Library of Ohio : 14 volumes State documents. 

An addition of special interest will be found in the palseontological 
library of the late Prof. F. B. Meek, whose death at the Institution, 
after many years' sojourn within its walls, wa« recorded in the report for 
1877 (p. 10). Mr. Meek died without any known heirs, and his books 
being appraised in due legal manner, the Institution purchased thenu 
This was the more desirable as, in regard to many of the works there was 
some uncertainty whether they had been presented to Professor Meek 
in his individual capacity or as the officer in charge of the palaeontolog- 
ical department of the Institution. This question is, of course, now set- 
tle The books of this library (especially the volumes enriched by 
copious manuscript notes and interpolations) have been repeatedly con- 
eulted by palaeontologists and ccfnchologists. 


The relations existing between the Smithsonian Institution and the 
National Museum have been so frequently referred to by my predecessor 
that it is only necessary to mention briefly that the Museum constitutes 
no organic part of the Institution, and that, whenever Congress so 
directs, it may be transferred to any designated siipei-vision without 
aflTecting the general plans and operations connected with the "increase 
and diffusion of knowledge among men.'' For the most part, the articles 
consist of the collections made by the United States surveying and 
exploring expeditions, and the expense of their care ^tiPe^W'^d^'^f^ 


by government appropriations, which have been sufficient to meet the 
actual cost of maintenance and a restricted supervision, although with. 
a larger fund the Museum could be placed on a more satisfactory bajsls, 
and one much more serviceable to science. 

Attention has been called, in several previous reports of my lamented 
predecessor, to the importance of suitable provision for the accommo- 
dation of the vast amount of material now stored in the Armory build- 
ing and in the basement of the Smithsonian edifice, and thus withdrawn 
from public examination. This surplus consists of the following essen- 
tial elements: 

First, the collections made by the United States exploring expeditions. 

Second, the contributions sent by private individuals who reside in 
every section of the country. 

Third, the exhibits of the Smithsonian Institution, the Indian Bu- 
reau, and the United States Fish Commission, at the Centennial. 

Fourth, the donations to the United States by domestic and foreign 
visitors and commissions on that occasion. 

The number of private contributions to the National Museum con- 
tinues to increase in value and magnitude year by year, and embiuces 
specimens of mineralogy and geology, objects of American antiquity, 
and other desirable articles. The government surveys, too, of Messrs. 
Hayden, Wheeler, and Powell have furnished a very large number of 
specimens of great value as illustrating the reports published by these 
parties. It is, however, under the two last- mentioned heads (the Cen- 
tennial exhibits and donations) that by far the greater amount of this 
unexbibited material is comimsed. 

By means of an appropriation by Congress, as fiUly set forth in the 
Reports for 1875 (pages 8 and 46) and for 1870 (pages 8-11, 42, and 
75-77), the Smithsonian Institution was enabled to exhibit a very full 
collection illustrating the animal and mineral resources of the United 
States ; the Fish Commission to present every variety of boat, net, hook 
and line, harpoon, and other fishing implements, as well as models and 
illustrations of all the fishes useful for food or other i)urposes ; the In- 
dian Bureau to show a valuable representative ethnological series of 
ancient implements, of dressed figures, and of objects illustrating the 
life and customs of the North American aborigines. 

At the close of the Exhibition, the foreign commissioners, induced by 
a desire to do honor to the United States, presented, with scarcely an 
exception, the whole of their exhibits (corresponding with those made 
by the Smithsonian Institution) to the United States Government, em- 
bracing the contents of many thousands of square feet in the diflerent 
Centennial buildings. Of forty-one foreign commissions, tliirty-four gave 
to the United States either the whole of their displays or a full series, 
probably representing 75 per cent, of tdl such matter as was shown under 
the patronage of the respective governments. 

Many private exhibitors fix)m abroad made similar contributions, some 

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of these valued singly at over $20,000 each. A large proportion, too, of 
the more desirable exhibits by State commissions, as also of home ex- 
hibitors, was added to the mass, and nearly two months were spent at 
the close of the Exhibition in simply removing these articles to the gov- 
ernment building and there packing them for transportation to Wash- 
ington, a large force being required for the purpose. 

The collection sent from Washington to Philadelphia filled twenty 
freight cars, and the donations received at the Centennial required forty 
more for their transi)ortation, the entire amount to be brought to Wash- 
ington making sixty car-loads, a quantity far beyond the storage capac- 
ity of the basement of the Smithsonian building. 

In anticipation of these donations, Congress had previously authorized 
the transfer to the Smithsonian Institution, for the purpose of storage, of 
the Armory building, on the square between Sixth and Seventh streets, 
and made an appropriation to fit it up for the reception of the collections. 
To this building a portion of these collections was transferred, where 
they now fill four floors, ef about 5,000 square feet each, from top to 
bottom, the remainder being stored in the basement of the Smithsonian 
Institution. At present, with the articles received from other sources, 
it is estimated that the quantity of objects not exhibited represents 
nearly five times the bulk of those at present displayed iu the Smithson- 
ian building. 

It is to be understood, too, that these objects are not simply specimens 
of natural history, possessing an abstract interest to the student, but 
represent the application of natural objects to the industries, and as 
such are of great importance. In what is now a fairly complete series 
of economical minerals, such as ores, combustibles, building stones, 
clays, earths, &c., from all parts of the world, with their incidentals of 
reduction and application, and specimens of similar objects of art and 
industiy derived from them, we have a collection of very great indus- 
trial importance, for it furnishes to the American manufacturer and de- 
signer information of the utmost value. The illustrations of means and 
appliances for the pursuit, capture, and application of food-fishes, from 
all parts of the world, are also of exceeding value, while the articles of 
Indian manufacture from Alaska, Washington Territory-, and the Pry- 
bilov Islands are of the utmost interest. 

Several donations from foreign countries are of considerable magnitude 
and importance ; the first being from the Xing of Siam as a present to 
the United States Government; the second the display of the manners 
and customs of the Chinese made by the Chinese Commissioner; the 
third an exhibition of the industries illustrating the manners and cus- 
toms of the Japanese, presented by the Japanese Government. The 
intrinsic value of all these objects presented to the United States is very 
great, having probably cost their respective contributors, either govern- 
ments or individuals, not far from three-quarters of a million to a miUioQ 
of dollars. 

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The necessity, therefore, of some adequate means of displaying this 
rich collection, now withdrawn from the inspection of the public, has 
weighed very heavily upon the officers of the Smithsonian Institution, 
and several efforts have been made to secure an appropriation from 
Congress for the erection of a fire-proof building sufficient to contain 
it, but of the most inexpensive form of construction compatible with 
protection against fire, and allowing the greatest convenience of display. 
A plan was prepared on the basis of suggestions from General Meigs, 
and approved by the Committees on Public Buildings and Grounds of 
both the Senate and House. The Senate, at the second session of the 
Forty-fourth Congress, parsed a bill appropriating $250,000 for the 
erection of a building of the kind, without a dissenting vote. This also 
passed the House; but obtained only a majority vote, under circum- 
stances requiring a two-thirds vote. 

A bill making an appropriation for the erection of such an edifice 
was again introduced into Congress at the current session, which it is 
hoped will be more successful. Owing to the particular form of con- 
struction of the proposed building, it can be completed in probably not 
more than a year, and the collections removed into it. 

It is now proposed to place this building in the southeastern comer 
of the reservation of 52 acres, situated between Seventh and Twelfth 
streets and North and South B. It will be so situated as not to obstruct 
the view of the Smithsonian ftt)m the Capitol or fit)m any other impor- 
tant point. As originally contemplated, the building was to occupy the 
space between the present Smithsonian edifice and Twelfth street; but 
it was finally concluded that if placed there it would obstruct the view 
of the Agricultural building, and the change of location was accordingly 
determined upon. 

Attention was called by the report for 1877 (page 36), to the continued 
increase of the number and variety of the collections received during the 
year, the exceptional year of the Centennial being the only one that fur- 
nished a larger quantity of material. The returns for 1878 have again 
been much larger than usual, exceeding considerably those of the pre- 
vious year. The total number of donors was 635 for the year, to 335 in 
1877, of which 180 were contributors to the collections of the United 
States Fish Commission at Grloucester. The number of donations was 
465, to 489 in 1877 ; and of separate packages 1,197, to 815 in 1877. A 
large part of the increase is due to the extensive contributions made to 
the United States Fish^Commission by the fishermen and merchants of 
Gloucester, Mass., in which city the Commission has had a station for the 
prosecution of researches and the propagation of food-fishes during the 
last half of the year. The hearty appreciation, by all classe^s of the com- 
munity, of the operations of the Commission, caused those fishermen re- 
siding at the port to save many articles brought up on the trawls from 
the deep water, and to bring them to the office of the Commission at 
Gloucester. The result is to be seen in several hundred donations, some 

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of them embraeing specimens of very great interest, and adding largely 
to our knowledge of the distribution of animal life in the waters off the 
coast of New England. As the result of these ccmtributions, together 
with the gatherings of the Fish Commission itself^ many species of fishes 
and of marine invertebrates have been added to the fauna of the coun- 
try, several of them being entirely new ; others were previously found 
only in the deep waters off the European coast or in those of Spitz- 
bergen and Greenland. 

Reference is, of course, quite impossible to even a small percentage of 
those collections added to the National Museum during the year covered 
by the present report, and they will be found under the names of the 
donors, alphabetically arranged, in the appendix. Even this, however, 
fails to give a complete idea of the magditude of the additions, as a 
collection embracing from five to twenty or more boxes may be included 
in a single line of the record. The books of the Institution, in which all 
these articles are entered systematically, give a m(H^ detailed statement; 
and the fact that a portion of these has required 9,973 entries, will fur- 
nish some idea of the aggregate. 

Among the more important general collections received are those 
made by the United States Fish Commission at Gloucester, as already 
referred to, embracing a complete and exhaustive series of the marine 
animals of the ocean between the New England coast and that of Nova 
Scotia, Newfoundland, and the outer Banks, including the Georges, the 
Grand Banks, Flemish Cap, Le Have, Bank Quero, &c. This material 
embraces a great many duplicate specimens, which will, in time, be 
distributed to the educatiimal and scientific establishments of the United 

Next to this in importance and magnitude are two collections from the 
Jar North, one from E. W. Nelson, Signal Office observer at St. Michaels, 
in Alaska, consisting very largely of ethnological articles and birds ; the 
other made by Mr. L. Kumlien, while a member of the Ho wgate expedi- 
tion to Arctic America, this embracing much the same class of objects 
as those seAt by Mr. Nelson. 

The collection of birds and ethnological articles, gathered by Mr. Ober 
in the islands of the West Indies, to which further reference will be 
made, has also been of great moment. Mr. J. Zeledon, formerly an as- 
sistant in the Institution, and for man^' years resident in Costa Eica, 
visited Washington in the spring of 1878, bringing a very large collec- 
tion of birds, mammals, &c, of his country. 

Large collections have also been received from Lieut. George M. 
Wheeler, the proceeds of the expeditions of 1877 and of earlier years, 
transmitted by him in accordance with the law of Congress requiring 
their deposit in the National Museum. 

In another part of the report will be given a more detailed account 
of some of the explorations to which reference has been made. 

Following the plan of previous reports, we shall now proceed to indi- 

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cate, briefly, the character of the more important additions to the Mu- 
seum in systematic sequence with some reference to the result in in- 
creasing our knowledge of particular regions. 

Anthropology. — Beginning with anthropology as the most interesting 
and important of such additions, I may refer again to the collections 
made by Mr. !N'elson at Saint Michaels. These are very exhaustive and 
complete, and taken in connection with those sent by Mr. Lucien M. 
Turner from the same region supply a very full illustration of man- 
ners and customs of the Indian and Esquimaux races found in north- 
western America. A special feature of Mr. Nelson's collection, like that 
of Mr. Turner, is the immense variety of carvings in bone and wood, 
representing various animal forms either in contour or in simple lines ; 
the latter calling to mind the engraving upon bone, especially of antlers 
of reindeer found in the caverns of France and Germany, and throw 
much light upon the region and character of these remains. Many 
models of boat«, traps for securing animals, fishing apparatus, articles of 
clothing, and many other objects constitute the mass of the great collec- 
tion sent by Mr. Nelson. 

Not at all inferior in interest, and only less in extent, are the collections 
of Mr. Kumlien made by him during several months' residence at Cum- 
berland Gulf, in Arctic America, and on the opposite coast of Greenland. 
They include great numbers of ancient stone implements found in the 
Esquimaux graves, and supply a previous deficiency in the collections 
of the National Museum. There are also many ailicles of dress and 
adornment, implements of war, and the chase, &c. In the last year's 
collections of both Mr. Nelson and Mr. Kumlien are many stone imple- 
ments, objects of horn, bone, or wood, illustrating in a very high degree 
the functions and applications ol certain articles of stone familiar to the 
American archaeologist, the uses of which were previously conjectural. 
These embrace scrapers, knives, planes, gouges, drills, and many other 

During the past year the attention of the Institution has been called 
especially to the subject of the soap-stone quarries, where the aborigines 
obtained their material for soap-stone bowls, dishes, &c., constituting 
so common a feature in American archaeology, but the source of which 
has been heretofore but little noticed. Of these quite a number were 
met with during the year, and an examination more or less extensive 
has been made of each under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. 
' During the spring of 1875, some specimens of steatite were received 
from the quarry of John B. Wiggin, in Chula, Amelia County, Virginia. 
Among these were fragments of rude vessels, which, from their number 
and unfinished condition, were regarded as indicating that the place in 
question was once an aboriginal mine. Mr. Wiggin was requested to 
carefully save and forward aU specimens of the kind which he might 
discover; and the receipt from him during the centennial year of an 
additional' collection proved beyond doubt the correctness of the con- 
jecture. Digitized by VoiOO^ 1(^ 


Inasmnch as, at the time, no quarry of this kind had been discovered,* 
and as, moreover, aboriginal methods of mining and working pot-stone 
were entirely unknown, it was thought advisable to have a careful ex- 
ploration of the place undertaken, which was intrusted to Mr. F. H. 
Gushing, who visited the locality in June last, causing excavations 
of sufficient extent to be made to reveal a large portion of the rock- 
snrface worked by the Indians. Again, in August and September, fur- 
nished with suitable instruments, and a complete photographic outfit, 
he continued these investigations, and, with the sanction and kindly aid 
of Mr. Wiggin, was enabled to greatly extend the diggings, thus making 
his examination very thorough and sufficient. 

The surface indications of aboriginal quarrying were found to be shal- 
low circular depressions, from ten to seventy feet in diameter. Mr. Cuss- 
ing began operations by causing a space of earth, 60 feet in length 
by 40 in width at the base, to be cleared away from the center of the 
largest of these depressions. ^Everywhere over the rock-surface, thus 
exposed he found grooves and hollows made by the Indians in taking 
out sugar-loaf shaped masses of the rock ; and throughout the soil re- 
moved he found numerous fragments of these masses mostly hollowed 
as the beginning of pots, together with equally numerous rude quartz- 
picks, some broken axes and mauls, and a few hammers of soapstone, 
which had been used in quarrying and working the material. 

From the base of the triangular excavation a cutting was made, about 

17 feet in width by nearly 40 in length. This was extended to the left 

18 feet, to remove the earth from around a large out-cropping bowlder, 
firom the base of which it was found that the Indians had cut the rock 
away piece by piece, until only a slender stem remained as its sup- 
port. Another extension, nearly 40 feet to the right and 30 feet wide, 
laid bare one side and the center of a second quarry almost as much 
worked as the first. From this last a ditch 3 feet wide was carried for- 
ward more than 80 feet, all along tiie course of which were found Indian 
cuttings wherever the rock-surface was exposed. Thus the area worked 
over by the aborigines in one direction was shown to be not less than 
180 feet. How fiar to either side of this their work extended can only 
be conjectured. The number and extent of those depressions not exca- 
vated, however, seemed to indicate that less than one-third of the In- 
dian work was exposed by the diggings just described. Mr. Gushing 
not only procured from the earth removed, a collection of several hundred 
specimens, but also made and brought away photographic views and 
accurate plaster models of portions of his diggings. 

Attention being drawn to these explorations while in progress by no- 
tices in some of the Washington newspapers, Mr. Elmer E. Reynolds, of 
the city, brought to notice some similar specimens of vessels which he had 
found within the District, ou Soapstone Run, a branch of Rock Creek, 

* InteUigence had been received of some surface workings in Chester County, Penn- 
sylvania ; so slight, however, that they conld hardly he regarded as quafrvinss. 

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whicli were recognized at once as indications of another qnarry, and Mr. 
Onsliing was directed to make a thorongh examination of it. Here, as 
in Virginia, depressions along the hill-side in which the quarry occurred 
showed thattlie Indians had worked the underlying ledge, although ex- 
cavations subsequently made revealed the fact that they had depended 
mainly ujHm surface material for their supply. Large numbers of un- 
finished vessels, quartz-picks, hammer-stones, &c., were here found. 

Another quarry has been repored by its proprietor, Mr. M. E. Holmes, 
as occurring on the right bank of the Potomac above Little Falls. This, 
though rich in ancient remains, has not yet been thoroughly examined 
by the Institution. 

Mr. J. D. McGuire, of EUicott City, Maryland, called our attention to 
still another quarry, not unlike the one on Rock Creek, and remarkable 
for the fine specimens of Indian work that it furnished. Through the 
hospitality and kind assistance of this gentleman, Mr. Cushing was en- 
abled during the month of December to make a personal examination 
of the place, and secure for the museum nearly two hundred sui)erior 

It may be well to add that since the discovery of the Virginia quarry, 
public attention having been drawn to this kind of research by widely 
circulated newspaper notices, similar sources of aboriginal supply have 
been discovered in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsyl- 
vania, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Wyoming, from several of 
which the Institution has already received specimens. 

An aboriginal quarry, recently discovered near Providence, R. I., on the 
farm of Mr. Angell, was visited by myself in July, accompanied by Pro- 
fessor Jenks, through whose assistance I was enabled to obtain specimens 
of the unfinished pots and of the mining apparatus. 

Reference has already been made to the plans of an extensive work 
on the American Stone Age, to be prepared under the direction of the 
Institution, to serve as a manual for this department of archaeology. The 
publication of the circular referred to as among the publications of the 
Institution for 1878 has been of great benefit in bringing in both large 
and small collections, as will be seen by reference to the list of donations. 
Every part of the country is represented in these returns, which are so 
many indeed as to render it somewhat invidious to select any for special 
notice. Justice, however, to the contributors, makes it proper that I 
should mention a few of these in greater detail. 

The first collection to be noted is that presented by Mr. A. B. Critten- 
den, of Middletown, Conn., a large and extensive one, made during sev- 
eral years of effort. This is particularly rich in the shell heap or Kjok- 
enmoedding deposits, from Cape Cod, showing a variety and complexity 
not previously exhibited. 

To one correspondent, Mr. J. E. Gere, of Riceville, Wisconsin, of the 
Institution, is indebted for an important increase of its collection of 
ancient copper implements. Mr. Gere, during a 'gipfeto the Institution, 


three years ago, had his attention called to the paucity of sach objects 
in the National Moseom, and offered his assistance in obtaining oxxd 
forwarding snch specimens. As the resolt of his promise, the Institu- 
tion has received from him during the year a large number of these 
articles, greatly adding to the variety of the series. Masses of native 
copper, plowed up by Mr. Gere on his own farm, were sent to illustrate 
the source of the material of these implements, and to show that it does 
not necessarily follow that it must have been obtained in barter or oth- 
erwise from the copper mines of the Lake Superior region. 

From Mr. William Brady, of Minong, in the Lake Superior r^'on, 
was received a barrel of hammers, nsed by the ancient miners in that 
vicinity, enabling us to make a very interesting comparison between 
these and corresponding instruments used by the Indians in working the 
soapstone quarries already referred to. 

The collections received JBrom Dr. Frank L. James, of Arkansas, are 
of great beauty and variety, as also those from Professor Bandle, <^ 

The result of long-continued examinations of shell mounds in Florida 
by Mr. Henry J. Biddle, of Philadelphia, is also of very great value. 

Dr. Benjamin H. Brodnax, of Louisville, in continuation of previous 
sendings, has contributed articles of special interest; and the collec- 
tions made in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by Dr. T. H. Bean and 
Mr. Qalbraith, have also added greatly to the specimens from that 

Among the more important collections received from regions outside 
of the United States is a number of implements, vases, &c., Irom Peru, 
presented by Mr. W. W. Evans, who has been for many years a corre- 
spondent of the Institution, and a contributor to the National Museum. 

The archfl&ology of Jap^i is represented by collections received from 
Professor Morse, consisting of shell-heap pickings and mound diggings 
on the Japanese coast. The fragments of pottery in this collection are 
rude and unfinished, scarcely more advanced than those found in the 
ancient graves and mounds of J^orth America. They are supposed to 
have been the production of the Ainos of the early days, who are believed 
to have occupied, at one time, the entire country. 

An interesting contribution to Euroi)ean anthropology was made by 
Professor Kollmann, who presented a series of crania of the ew'lier, al- 
though scarcely prehistoric, inhabitants of Germany. 

Mammals. — ^While many single specimens or small collections of mam- 
mals have been received from various parts of the country, those re- 
ceived fit)m Lieut George M. Wheeler, of the Engineer Bureau, repre- 
senting quite a variety of species, collected by Mr. Henshaw and other 
collaborators of the survey, deserve special mention. 

A series of the seals of Arctic America, both of skins and skdetcms, 
brought back by Mr. Knmlien, supplies a very important gap in the ool- 
lections of the National Museum, exhibiting the variations of ^IJ^Ij^fe le 


in several species, from the foetal to the adult stat^, of both sexes, with. 
correspoDding skeletons of all these gradations. 

The collection brought by Mr. Zelcdon includes nearly all the known 
mammals of Costa Eica, from the largest to the smallest, and in most 
admirable condition of preservation, well fitted to mount for exhibition 
in the Kational Museum. 

The Zoological Society of Philadelphia has presented a specimen, in 
the flesh, of the Aodud (Ovis Traglclaphus\ which died in the menagerie 
of that estabUshment. 

From the Public Library and Museum at Calcutta, in India, under the 
direction of Mr. Murray, was received quite a number of specimens of 
Indian mammals, including skins of the smaller kinds, and a considera- 
ble number of stuffed heads of tigers and other felidae, as well as several 
crania of much value. 

Birds, — The collections of birds received during the year have also 
been extensive and important, as shown by the number of specimens 
entered in the record book. Principally noteworthy is the donation by 
Mr. Greorge B. Bennett, of Erie, Pa., of a series of the collections made 
by him during the preceding year in the vicinity of Browns\ille, Tex. 
This embraces several species new to the Museum. In view of their 
admirable preparation, it is proposed to mount the greater part of them 
for x)ermanent exhibition in the Museum. 

From Dr. James C. Merrill, U. S. Army, stationed at Brownsville, 
Texas, was also received a very accepta.ble collection of skins and eggs 
of birds, from that region. 

The collections of Mr. Nelson in Alaska and of Mr. Kumlien in Arctic 
America, already referred to, embl^ace many species of much interest, 
although none actually new to the Museum. 

The more important addition made to the collection has been a series 
of oceanic birds, found off the coast of the United States. Mr. Kaymond 
L. Newcomb having been sent out by the Smithsonian Institution on 
board the schooner Marion, Captain Collins in command, for the pur- 
pose of ascertaihing what were the birds occurring on the fishing- 
banks, in such numbers as to be serviceable in furnishing bait for the 
capture of codfish, he brought back a large and well-prepared collection, 
embracing some quite rare species, although none previously Unrepre- 
sented. Some of the plumages were new, and it became possible, from 
the collections and his notes, to interpret the meaning of various appella- 
tions employed by the fishermen. 

For the assistance rendered to Mr. Newcorab, as well as in furnishing 
information to the Fish Commission, Captain Collins and his crew deserve 
special mention. 

Of extra-Umital collections, those made by Mr. Fred. A. Ober in the 
West Indies, referred to in another part of this report, are of particular 
value and importance. As the result of these the National Museum is 
now in possession of by far the most complete series extant of ^Wpis of 

igi ize y g ^ 


the West Indies, showing better than any found elsewhere the geo- 
graphical distribution peculiar to each island, and the precise distribu- 
tion of those common to two or more islands. 

To this end especially have contributed the labors of Dr. Henry 
Bryant, in the Bahamas, and of Mr. William T. March, in Jamaica; of 
Dr. John Gundlach, Mr. Charles Wright, and !N^. H. Bishop, in Cuba ; of 
Mr. Alfred Newton, in Santa Cruz ; of Mr. George Latimer, and Mr. 
Thomas Swift, in St. Thomas and Porto Eico; of Dr. Bryant, in Porto 
Bico, and of Mr. Galody, in Antigua. 

Not only were many species previously described contained in Mr. 
Ober^s collection, but he furnished types of nearly twenty new species. 

A series of memoirs, by Mr. George N. Lawrence, published in the 
"Proceedings of the National Museum," includes lists of the collections 
and embraces descriptions of the new species. 

From foreign regions an interesting collection, for the most part of 
water-birds, was sent from the Bosphorus by the Robert College of Con- 
stantinople, and one from the coast of Syria by Mr. William T. Yan Dyck. 

BeptiUis. — ^Reference has been made in previous reports to a very 
extensive collection of casts of American fishes which were prepared 
originally for exhibition at the Centennial, and continued since then by 
the addition of new species, coming to the Institution in proper condition 
for reproduction. 

It was determined to include the North American reptiles in the series 
of life reproductions of such objects as are not easily exhibited as stuffed 
specimens. In order, therefore, to secure living objects from all parts 
of the country, a circular was distributed, inviting contributions of ser- 
pents, frogs, lizards, and salamanders, in all their variety; and, as in 
previous appeals from the Institution for assistance, the response was 
generous and extensive. A large number of specimens, both of rare and 
common species, was received, and kept the entire force of Smithsonian 
artists occupied during the year. 

Resulting therefrom, the National Museum now has an extremely 
interesting and attractive collection of these animals in their natural 
attitudes, either as plaster or papier mach^ models, and very carefully 
colored from sketches made while the animals were alive. In some cases 
it was found possible to make the casts from the living specimens, and 
in several different attitudes, from the same individual. As heretofore, 
the casting and molding have been under the direction of Mr. Joseph 
Palmer, assisted by Mr. A. J. Forney and Mr. William Palmer. The 
coloring of the reptiles has been performed by Mr. A. Z. Shindler ; that 
of the fishes by Mr. J. H. Richard. 

Besides the living reptiles referred to, quite a variety of species has 

been obtained from other sources, among others from Mr. Ober in his 

West Indian explorations. Dr. Ruth, U. S. N., the surgeon of the steamer 

Enterprise, in which/ Captain Selfridge made his exphjration of the Am- 

S. Mis. 59 i 

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azon in 1848, also furnished a valuable collection from that river. From 
Dr. Hering was also received a collection of the species of Surinam. 

Fishes. — ^As might naturally be expected, from the close connection 
of the operations of the United States Fish Commission with those of 
the Smithsonian Institution, the additions in this department have been 
especially noteworthy, and include not only various specimens of im- 
portant scientific interest, but also many illustrating and attesting the 
propriety of national aid in the multiplication of useM food-fishes. 

It is considered especially desirable to bring together in Washington 
a complete representation of the food-fishes of the United States, both 
inland and marine ; and also such kinds from other countries as tend to 
illustrate the American species, or as may suggest future action in the 
way of their introduction and acclimation in the New Worid. 

The series of species of the salmon family, contributed by Mr. Living- 
ston Stone from the salmon-hatching establishment on the McCloud 
Eiver, in the Upper Sacramento Valley; and those furnished by Mr. 
Charles G. Atkins, from his works in Bucksport and Grand Lake Stream 
in Maine, have constituted the most important additions of fresh- water 
species; while the special labors of the United States Fish Commission 
at Gloucester, Massachusetts, aided by the Ushermen of that place, have 
brought to light nearly 20 forms of deep-sea fishes, previously unknown. 

Next to the collections from the station of the United States Fish 
Commission at Gloucester, the most important additions to the marine 
fishes have been received from Mr. Vinal K. Edwards, for a long time an 
employ6 of the Commission, and stationed at Wood's Holl, whose vigilant 
attention to the subject brought to light a number of additional species, 
so that now the Wood's Holl record embraces nearly 140 difierent kinds. 

From Mr. Silas Steams, of Pensacola, while connected with the Pensa- 
cola Ice Company, from Mr. James C. Leslie, of Charleston; from Mr. 
Samuel Powel, of Newport; from Dr. Porter, U. S. A., and Mr. Moore, 
of the Tortugas, have come many additions to our knowledge of the dis- 
tribution of species, through their contributions to the National Museum. 

The Museum is also indebted in a very marked degree, as for many 
years past, to the services of Mr. E. G. Blackford, the well-known fish 
dealer of Fulton Market, New York, for the transmission of many valu- 
able specimens. By an arrangement with the wholesale dealers and the 
fishermen, this gentleman is always notified of the appearance in the 
market of specimens that- are believed to have an interest, either from 
their novelty or any other cause, and, in the exercise of an excellent 
judgment, whatever is thought will be valued in Washington is promptly 
transmitted to the National Museum. To no other single person is the 
Institution indebted for so many favors in this direction as to Mr. Black- 

From the museum of the Wesleyan University, at Middletown, have 
been received a considerable number of fishes, collected in the Bermudas 
by Mr. G. Brown Goode; from Professor Felipe Poey also a number of 

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Cnban fishes, which have an especial value, as being types of his proposed 
memoir on the subject, which, should it api)ear on the scale contemplated, 
wiU be the most extensive work ever published on the fishes of any 

From the west coast of the United States the most important additions 
have been of the fishes of Alaska, sent by Mr. E. W. Nelson, from Saint 
Michaels, and those of Puget Sound, by Mr. James G. Swan. 

In the collection of fishes gathered in Cumberland Gulf by Mr. I/. Kum- 
lien, while connected with the Howgate Expedition, were several of kinds 
new to the fauna of northeastern North America, and others of great 
value as illustrating the species obtained by the United States Fish 
Commission at Gloucester, either by its own efibrts or by the aid of the 
fleet of fishermen belonging to that port^ 

The Natural History Museum of Paris has contributed a series of the 
fishes of France and the Mediterranean. A series of the firesh-water 
fishes of Northern Siberia has been furnished by Dr. Otto Finsch as the 
result of his recent well-known explorations. 

Among the more noticeable results of recent eflForts to extend and 
increase the useful food-fishes of the United States, that have come to 
hand, are specimens of full-grown shad from the Sacramento Eiver, con- 
tributed by Mr. Thomas Bassett ; a pair of shad from the Ohio, by Mr. 
William Griflith, of Kentucky; a mature salmon from the Connecticut 
Eiver, obtained through Mr. E. G. Blackford ; one from the Delaware, 
weighing 23 pounds, presented by Mr. E. J. Anderson, Fish Commis- 
sioner of New Jersey 5 and one of 19 pounds, taken in the Susquehanna, 
by Mr. Frank Fan' near the shad-hatching station of the United States 
Ksh Commission, five miles below the railroad bridge at Havre de Grace. 
In addition to these, many specimens of yoang California salmon and 
of landlocked salmon have also come to hand. 

Invertebrates. — In the department of invertebrates the collections have 
been largely confined to the marine species, especially as no particular 
efibrt is now made to gather the insects which form the great body of 
terrestrial forms. By an arrangement between the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion and the Department of Agriculture, all the collections in the line of 
insects and terrestrial articulates generally are transferred to the care 
of that department, where, under the supervision of its entomologist, 
they are likely to render excellent service. 

Of land and fresh-water moUnsca quite a number of specimens have 
been received and properly cared for. Of marine invertebrata most 
gatherings have been secured, especially through the efforts of the 
United States Fish Commission, at Gloucester, the labor being i>er- 
formed under the special direction of Prof. A. E. Yorrill, of Yale Col- 
lege, assisted by Messrs. Richard Rathbnn and Warren J. Upham. In 
this service, however, the work connecte<l with the collection and ar- 
rangement of the marine mollusca was under the direction of ^Ir. San- 
derson Smith, of Now York, a competent conchologist, the value of who? 

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gratuitons services to the Fish Commission and to the Smithsonian In- 
stitution is not easily to be overestimated. 

Witii the assistance of the extensive and powerful apparatus on board 
the Speedwell vast numbers of specimens of all kinds were secured, ap- 
propriately assorted, and packed by the gentlemen referred to, and are 
now in charge of Professor Verrill at New Haven undergoing the neces- 
sary examination for their arrangement and identification. A great 
number of duplicates was obtained for the purpose of supplying sets to 
educational and scientific institutions throughout the country. 

A collection of fossiliferous rocks, brought up from time to time by 
the trawls from the various banks of the Kew England coast, and found 
in the possession of various citizens of Gloucester, by Mr. Warren J. 
Upham, while connected with the Commission, revealed, under the crit- 
ical labors of Professor Verrill, Mr. Smith, and himself, the existence of 
a submarine formation quite different from any now known on the land, 
and embracing a number of new species, and others in peculiar combi- 
nations. The idea has been suggested by Professor Verrill that at some 
earlier day the whole or the greater part of the interval between North 
America and Europe, extending possibly as far north as Iceland, was 
occupied by a continent, which, after a certain amoimt of erosion and 
excavation, was submerged, the plateaus or highest remaining portions 
constituting a portion of the banks, which furnish such rich harvests. 
The indications of this deposit are believed to be found at Gay Head on 
]VIartha's Vineyard, and possibly at Siasconset in Nantucket, in the 
Georges, at Le Have and Quero Banks, the Grand Banks, Flemish 
Cap, &c. Of course so important a generalization will require further 
determinations, and it is hoped that the labors of the Fish Commission 
during the coming year may tend to solve the problem. 

In the collections made by the sevei*al methods, and from the several 
sources referred to, are to be found all the orders and classes of marine 
invertebrata, such as radiates, mollusks, worms, Crustacea, &c. 

Apart from the collections of shells and of invertebrates referred to, 
we may mention a valuable collection of shells of Florida^ presented by 
the Chicago Academy of Sciences, and of those of the German seas, by 
Professor Mcibius. 

Of terrestrial fossil remains firom the land no important additions have 
been made. Among those received, however, there is an interesting 
and valuable collection of species from California, presented by Hon. A. 
A. Sargent, United States Senator from that State, and a Regent of the 
Smithsonian Institution. 

Reference has been made to the arrangement with the Department 
of Agriculture, by which that establishment receives all the collec- 
tions of land articulates 5 and a similar arrangement has been made in 
regard to the plants, special efforts in regard to that branch of natural 
history being left to the department. All the specimens oflTered spon- 
taneously or collected by government expeditions have been turned over 

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to the department as soon as received. The most important of these 
consist of a series of species from Japan and Asia, presented by the 
Botanic Garden of St. Petersbnrg. Professor Sargent, of the Botanic 
Garden at Cambridge, has contributed quite a number of valuable living 
aquatic plants for the purpose of embellishing the United States carp- 
I>onds on the Monument lot in this city, and of furnishing desirable food 
for the herbivorous fish. 

Dr. William G. Farlow, of Cambridge, while associated with the Fish 
Commission at Gloucester, made a large collection of marine algse, of 
which, as heretofore, a part will be presented to the National Museum. 

A circular issued by the Institution some years ago, relative to the 
habits, &c., of the grasshopper and other insects, elicited many responses, 
which were referred to Prof. S. H. Scudder. The material, however, was 
never fully worked up, and it has been transferred, with the consent of 
the Institution, by Professor Scudder, to the United States Entomolog- 
ical Commission lately organized by Congress. 

I have thus furnished as briefly as possible a review of some of the 
more important contributions to the National Museum, but as the limit 
of space has prevented my going into much detail, I have been obliged 
to make selections from large numbers of contributions of value fully 
equal to those specially noted. All these, as stated, will be found in the 
list of donations entered in the recoixl-books of the Institution. Every 
specimen received has, as far as possible, been recorded in its proper 
register, with a number aflBxed in some irremovable form; and whenever 
the size of the specimen would admit, with the name of the locality and 
of the donor attached. Of these entries no less than 9,973 have been 
made during the year, as shown by the table at the end of this Eeport. 
As heretofore explained, however, one entry may embrace a large number 
of specimens, especially of the same general character, without any spe- 
cial individuality, gathered at the same date, in the same locality, and 
received from the same person. It may fairly be assumed that the total 
number of pieces actually recorded and provided with numbers amounts 
to 15,000. 

Considered with reference to geographical distribution — ^illustrating 
the several faunas of the various quarters of the globe, as would nat- 
urally be expected, by far the greater portion of these accessions has 
been received from North America, the regions from which the most 
important materials have been derived being Alaska, furnished by Mr. 
Nelson, Arctic America, by Mr. Kumlien, and the eastern coast of New 
England by the Fish Commission itself and its friends at Gloucester ; 
of fishes and invertebrates from Puget Sound by Mr. Swan, fishes of the 
Upper Sacramento by Mr. Stone, fishes of Florida by Mr. Steams, Dr. 
Porter, and Mr. Moore ; and general collections by Mr. Ridgway, are 
among the most noteworthy. 

From South America were received ethnological specimens from Peru 

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by Mr. W. W. Evans; fishes and reptiles flx)m the Amazon, by Dr. 
Kuth, TJ. 8. K, of the United States steamer Enterprise. 

From Mexico valuable specimens have been received from Professor 
Dug^s, consisting especially of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fishes; 
illustrations of the ethnology and zoology of Guatemala have been fur- 
nished by Dr. Flint and United States Minister Williamson. 

Of the animals of Surinam, collections were sent by Dr. Hering; of the 
vertebrata of Costa Eica, generally in a large variety, by Mr. J. Zele- 
don ; of the fishes of Cuba, by Professor Poey ; general collections from 
various islands of the West Indies, by Mr. Ober; fishes of Bermuda, by 
the Wesleyan University, of Middletown, collected by Mr. Goode ; fishes 
and archaeological remains from Japan, by Prof. E. S. Morse; the fishes 
of France and the Mediterranean, by the Museum of Natural History, 
Paris ; of Northern Siberia, by Dr. Finsch, of Bremen ; skins, skidls, 
and heads of the mammals of India, by the Public Library of Kurra- 

Mineralogy. — In the department of mineralogy and geology, as usual, 
additions of many specimens, including several large collections, have 
been received, as it has now become quite a common thing for people 
all over the United States to send samples by mail or otherwise to the 
Institution for determination. 

Many valuable additions have been made by the officers of the Land 
Department of the Interior, especially by Mr. John Wasson, surveyor- 
general of Arizona, and Mr. Hardenborg, the surveyor-general of Cali- 
fornia. By far the most noteworthy and important addition in this line, 
has been that of the greater part of the Swedish exhibit of iron, steel, 
and other jnetals, made at Philadelphia in 1876. The valuable iron 
and steel exhibit by the Swedish Commission at the Centennial Ex- 
position had in part been promised to the American Institute of Min- 
ing Engineers, and at its solicitation any effort on the part of the Smith- 
sonian Institution to secure the remainder for the government was 
waived in its behalf. It appears, however, that the necessary arrange- 
ments for their acquiring this collection were not completed, and during 
the year 1878, Dr. Joshua Lindahl, the representative of Sweden in con- 
nection with the Permanent Exhibition, offered the remainder of the col- 
lection as it stood, to the National Museum. This proi)Osition was, of 
course, very gladly accepted, and the collection was duly transmitted 
under the direction of Mr. Thomas Donaldson, including the greater part 
of the display of the Iron and Steel Mining Company of Motala, and the 
iron and steel of Sandvik, a well-known and conspicuous Swedish estab- 

The institution received also, on si)ecial deposit, through the aid of 
Dr. Lindahl, the immense mass of native iron, weighing five tons, the 
smallest of three nuggets brought from the island of Disco by the Swed- 
ish Government, the one referred to having been presented to Professor 
Nordenskjold, who had charge of the transfer, and by him sent for exhi- 

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l)ition to Philadelphia. Opinions of experts are at present divided as to 
whether this is actually of meteoric origin, or a representative of almost 
the single instance of metallic iron in considerable masses, as a native 
metal. Whatever be the actual fact, it makes no difference in the in- 
terest of the specimen ; and its acquisition, even for a short time, by the 
l^ational Museum, is a subject of congratulation. 

Scientific investigation of collections. — As in previous years the collec- 
tions of the National Museum, in charge of the Smithsonian Institution, 
have been freely open to the examination of competent investigators. 
It is preferred, of course, that this work be prosecuted in Washington; 
but where it is impossible to do this there is no hesitation in sending arti- 
cles or collections, under suitable conditions, to any part of the world. 

Most of this work of investigation is done by the resident naturalists 
connected with the Smithsonian Institution, directly or indirectly — the 
mammals by Professor Gill and Dr. Coues 5 the birds by Mr. Eobert 
Eidgway ; the reptiles by Dr. H. C. Yarrow and Dr. Bean ; the fishes by 
Professor Gill, Mr. Goode, and Dr. Bean ; the mollusks and marine inver- 
tebrates by Mr. William H. Dall ; the insects by Professor Eiley ; the 
fossils by Prof. Charles A. White; the minerals by Dr. F. M. Endlich; the 
plants by Dr. Geo. Vasey. 

Outside of Washington the principal collaborators have been, for the 
mammals, Mr. E. D. Alston, London, and Mr. J. A. Allen, of the Museum 
of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Mass.; for the birds, Mr. George N. 
Lawrence, of New York, Dr. P. L. Sclater, of London, and Mr. Osbert Sal- 
vin, of Cambridge, England ; for reptiles and vertebrate fossils. Prof. 
E. D. Cope, of Philadelphia. These gentlemen have all rendered more 
or less service in this connection by investigating the specimens, identify- 
ing those that were previously known, and describing the new species. 

Distribution of collections. — ^The extent of the distribution of specimens 
during 1878 will be seen by reference to the table at the end of this re- 
port. It has been quite large, and has furnished much educational 
and scientific material. It is expected, however, th^t a very much larger 
amount will be supplied during the year 1879. There is a great number 
of duplicates of minerals, rocks, fossils, &c., which cannot be reached 
until the liberality of Congress shall appropriate the necessary means to 
erect the new building for the National Museum. Such building is 
required even for the unpacking of the specimens and the separation of 
the series to be reserved for permanent display. This will leave a large 
quantity of suri)lus material, of considerable variety, which will enable 
the Institution to supply to a good degree the wants and applications 
of many colleges, academies, and scientific societies throughout the 


The principle of co-operation and not of competition which has for so 
many years been the basis of action of the Smithsonian Institution, fin'' 

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a portion of its expression in the arrangement witli the Corcoran Art 
Gallery. Its pictures, statuary, and engravings have for the most part 
been removed to the Gallery, and the remainder is being prepared for 
the same destination. They are not presented to the Gallery, but simply 
deposited, and are subject to reclamation at any time. 

For many years Professor Henry was one of the trustees of the Cor- 
coran Gallery, and was thus able to look after the interest of the Insti- 
tution in its collections. I have been honored by receiving a similar 
appointment at the hands of the board of trustees. 

The propriety of the action of the Board of Kegents in directing that 
a first-class portrait of Professor Henry be painted, the work being ex- 
ecuted in April, 1877, by Mr. Le Clear, of New York, has been fully justi- 
ified. His picture is now exhibited in the Eegent's room in the Ine^tu- 
tion, after having been displayed for a time at the Corcoran Gallery. 
Several excellent crayon heads, of life size, of Professor Henry have been 
executed by Mr. Ulke and copies have been ordered for Princeton College 
and other institutions where Professor Henry's was an honored name. 


Attention has been called in the reports of my lamented predecessor 
to the extent to which the time of the officers of the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution has been occupied in the prosecution of labors undertaken by 
direction and in behalf of the general government ; his own record of 
twenty-six years' service in connection with the Light-House Board, for 
a large portion of the time its chairman : his service on various special 
boards, such as those for the selection of building-stones for the Capitol, 
for the consideration of the question of ventilation of the Hall of the 
House of Representatives, &c., and in many other cases, furnishing 
ample illustration. 

My own more immediate relations to the general government com- 
menced in 1871, when Congress passed an act authorizing the appoint- 
ment of a Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, to investigate questions 
connected with the condition of the fisheries of the sea-coast and the 
lakes, and providing that the appointment should be by the President 
and confirmed by the Senate, and that his services should be rendered 
without compensation. 

Having received the appointment from the President, I commenced 
the work by an investigation, of several months' duration, of the condi- 
tion of the fisheries on the New England coast, especially as to the 
supposed conditions aflTecting their extent and development . 

In 1872 the subject of the propagation of food-fishes in the waters of 
the United States was added by Congress to the other duties of the Com- 
missioner, and since then his time has been largely occupied with the 
prosecution of researches into the American fisheries and in the propa- 
gation and distribution of various desirable species into every State in 
the Union. Previous reports will be found to contain general statements 

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of what has been done each year ; and I shall therefore give a brief ac- 
count of what was done in 1878, premising that the appropriations, 
beginning'with $5,000 in 1871, have increased with each year, until those 
for 1878 amounted to $78,200. 

The work of the Fish Commissioner is now prosecuted under the two 
distinct heads of inquiry, and propagation, each with a corps of assist- 
ants, for the most part occupied in different regions of the country. The 
propagation department has special reference to the shad, the salmon of 
California, the sahnon of Maine, the land-locked salmon, the white-fish, 
and the carp. 

The invention of apparatus by Mr. T. B. Ferguson, one of the fish 
commissioners of Maryland, by which the hatching of shad could be 
prosecuted on a much larger scale than before, and under more conven- 
ient circumstances, marks a new era in the art of fish culture, experi- 
ments made by him in 1877 having been extensively prosecuted by the 
United States Fish Commission in 1878. 

For the purpose in question four scows were fitted up in Baltimore, 
two with suitable machinery and apparatus, and two as quarters for the 
men. These were taken to Albemarle Sound and established at a i)oint 
on the fishery of Br. Capehart, of Avoca, by whom every assistance was 
rendered in the supply of ripe fish, from which 10,000,000 of young fish 
were hatched out and deposited in adjacent waters or transferred to 
distant points. 

After the season for work in that vicinity had passed, the vessels were 
taken to Havre de Grace and anchored about five miles below the rail- 
road bridge, in a sheltered cove. Here a much larger number of fish 
was hatched out^ and the young were distributed by special messengers 
throughout the Union. The work of distribution of the young shad was 
under the special supervision of Mr. James W. Milner, first assistant of 
the commission ; Mr. T. B. Ferguson, fish commissioner of Maryland, the 
inventor and constructor of the hatching apparatus, however, having 
charge of the propagation of the shad here, as also during the greater 
part of the sojourn at Avoca. 

The result of the new experiment was perfectly satisfactory, and so far 
as relates to the shad in the future, there is no limit to the amount of 
work that can be done other than that of the number of ripe eggs pro- 

The labor of obtaining the eggs of the California salmon at the Uni- 
ted States hatching-station on the McCloud River, in the Upper Sacra- 
mento Valley, was also carried on on a much larger scale than ever 
before, it being possible, as the direct result of the propagation in the 
earlier part of the operations of the commission, under the charge of 
Mr. Livingston Stone, to procure as many eggs as were called for; and 
no less tlian 15,000,000 eggs were obtained, and partly developed, and 
then distributed to various State commissioners and other parties, by 
whom they were hatched out and planted in the waters. A large nur^ 

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ber was hatched on account of the United States Fish Commission by- 
Mr. Frank K Clark, of Northville, Mich., and by Mr. Ferguson, at Bal- 
timore. These were distributed to such of the Southern and Western 
States as were without arrangements of their own for prosecuting the 

Nothing was done with the eastern salmon ; but the favorable re- 
sults of the work initiated five or six years ago, in restoring this fish in 
large numbers to the Merrimack and the Connecticut, and in planting 
them in the Delaware and the Susquehanna, will probably induce the 
renewal of the station at Bucksport, Maine, during the coming year. 

The operations connected with securing eggs of the land-locked sal- 
mon at Grand Lake Stream were entirely successful, although not so 
many were obtained as last year. These are now in process of incuba- 
tion, and will shortly be distributed. 

Congress appropriated a sum of money for the purpose of fitting up 
the two lakes in the vicinity of the Monument in the city of Washing- 
ton for the culture of European carp, a considerable number of the 
best varieties having been obtained in 1877, and deposited with the kind 
permission of the Park Commissioners in the ponds of Druid Hill Park, 
in Baltimore. When the Monument lot ponds were in proper condition 
a portion of the fish were transferred from Baltimore to their new 
quarters, where it is hoped they will find a congenial home. A distri- 
bution of the young will probably be made in the course of 1879, enough, 
it is hoped, to meet a part, at least, of the demand which has already 
sprung up for supplying fish-ponds throughout the country. 

The most important progress in practical fish culture has been made 
by the United States Fish Commission during the year, in the applica- 
tion of its methods to the production of the sea-fishes. Experiments 
were instituted at Gloucester, in Massachusetts, in reference to cod, the 
spawning season of which takes place in the winter. The establishment 
was properly fitted up and, after varying results, the proper method of 
developing them was ascertained. Many millions of the young fish were 
hatched out and deposited in the waters, and about 20,000 sent on to 
Washington for exhibition to members of Congress, and others interested 
in the experiment. Nothing has yet been done with mackerel, but it is 
believed that the arrangements prepared for the cod will l>e equally 
efficient for that fish, as also, probably, for the halibut, while many other 
species, such a« the tautog, sea-bass, and scup, can be treated in the same 

The imi>ortance of this new departure of the United States Fish Com- 
mission cannot be overestimated, as it gives us the means of improving, 
at smaU expense, the sea fisheries of our coast, and also furnishes the 
opportunity of establishing them at points where they do not at present 
exist. Thus, by carrying the young cod from Massachusetts and plant- 
ing them on the coast of Kew Jersey or Maryland, of Virginia or North 
Carolina, there is every assurance that, in accordance with the univer- 

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sal rule, these fish, when ready to spawn, will return to their starting 
place and become the means of establishing profitable fisheries to the 
inhabitants of the region. It is well known that in the Southern States 
the fisheries, contrary to the fact in the Northern States, are of little 
moment in the winter season, the most prominent species coming up in 
the spi-ing and returning as the waters become chilly. The establishment 
of cod fisheries, and possibly of those of halibut, as winter fisheries along 
the soutliem coast, will therefore be of great imiwrtance. 

The second branch of the Fish Commission's work, namely, that of the 
iuTestigation of the sea fisheries, was carried on at Gloucester for three 
months, with the co-operation as heretofore of the Secretary of the !N"avy 
in furnishing a suitable vessel, and the general work was done with more 
eflSdency and completeness. The same vessel, the United States steamer 
Speedwell, used in 1877, was detailed by the Secretary for the service, 
and was in command of Gapt. L. A. Beardslee, who had previously sus- 
tained similar relations to the Commission when in charge of the steamer 
Blue Light 

The longer period of service of the vessel and the more favorable 
station enabled the Commission to perform a very large amount of work, 
the results greatly exceeding those of any previous year. Imi)ortant 
determinations were made of the character of the sea-bottom, of the tem- 
peratore and chemical constituents of the sea- water at different depths, 
the currents, &c, while the exhaustive collections of marine animals and 
plants showed clearly the character of the food of the fishes, and at the 
same time furnished a vast amount of natural history material of the 
greatest scientific interest. As heretofore, special efforts were made to 
obtain a large number of duplicates, so that by their distribution in 
named sets the colleges and other educational establishments of the 
country might participate in the results of the labors of the Commission. 

As heretofore, the labors of the Commission at Gloucester, connected 
with the invertebrate department, were in charge of Prof. A. B. Verrill, 
of Yale College, New Haven, assisted by Mr. Sanderson Smith in the 
department of the moUusca, and by Mr. Eichard Bathbun and Mr. 
Warren J. Uphanu The collections made, as in previous years, were 
placed in the hands of Professor Verrill, who is now engaged in their 
dassification and arrangement in sets. Dr. William G. Farlow, of Cam- 
Imdge, as usual, spent considerable time with the Commission, and 
devoted himself especially to the investigation of the marine algae. 

The investigation into and classification of the various kinds of fish 
brought in were in charge of Mr; G. Brown Goode, a collaborator of 
the liTational Museum, assisted by Dr. T. H. Bean, of the same estab- 
lishment, and by Mr. B. E. Earll. 

Capt H. C. Chester had general charge of the laboratory and the di- 
rection of the actual dredging and trawling on the steamer. 

The special superintendence of the hatching of the codfish was con- 

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ducted by Mr. J. W. Milner, with the assistance of Mr. E. B. EarlL 
The :propagatioii department was in charge of Mr. Frank N. Clark, of 
Michigan. The machinery was superintended by Capt. H. C. Chester, 
and it is to his ingenuity that we owe the construction of the apparatus 
by which the actual work of hatching the codfish was rendered practi- 
cable. The difficulty of using the apparatus employed for batching 
shad arose from the fact that while the eggs of the shad are heavier 
than the fresh water, those of the cod are lighter than the salt water, 
and new conditions had te be devised to keep the eggs down instead of 
lifting them up. This problem, as already stated, was satisfactorily 
solved, after many experiments, by Captain Chester, who is therefore 
entitled to much credit for the success of the work. 


In 1871 a convention was held by the United States and Great Britain, 
at Washington, for the purpose of settling certain questions at issue be- 
tween the two governments, notably that of the depredations upon 
American commerce by Confederate cruisers, fitted out or supplied in 
British ports ; and also certain disputed points in reference to the fish- 
eries of British North America. 

The treaty agreed upon was not ratified by the several contracting 
parties, consisting of the United States and the five British maritime 
provinces, until 1873, when commissioners were duly appointed by the 
respective governments, Mr. Alexander T. Gait being named by Great 
Britain; Governor Clifford, of New Bedford, by the United States, and 
Mr. Maurice Delfosse, the Belgian minister to the United States, as the 
third. For various reasons, and partly owing to the death of Governor 
Clifford, no definite action was taken until 1876, when Mr. E. H. Kellogg, 
of Pittsfield, Mass., was appointed to succeed Governor Clifford; and 
the place of meeting waa fixed at Halifax, [N'ova Scotia, on the 15th of 
June, 1877, and after receiving the British claim the commission ad- 
journed until the 28th day of July, 1877, when it reassembled and 
continued in session until nearly the stipulated limit, in the month of 

The United States commissioner was assisted by Mr. Richard Henry 
Dana and Mr. William H. Trescott. The British commissioner had, as 
his counsel, one distinguished gentleman from each province, namely, 
Mr. Joseph Doutre, for Canada ; Mr. S. R. Thomson, for New Bruns- 
wick ; Hon. W. V. White way, for Newfoundland ; Hon. Louis H. Davies, 
for Prince Edward Island ; and Mr. R. L. Weatherbe, for Nova Scotia. 

At the request of the Secretary of State, I attended the meeting at 
as early a date as my other duties would permit, arriving on the 17th of 
August, and remaining until the 21st of October. 

The British commission had on its side the minister of marine, Mr. 
A. Smith, assisted by Mr. W. F. Whiteher, the commissioner of fisheries* 

The deliberations of the court involved a careful consideration of aU 

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the facts and statistics of the two countries, and a vast amount of in- 
formation relating to the subject was brought together in the form of 
testimony of witnesses and experts and by the presentation of tables, re- 
ports, and digests. The volumes of the reports of the proceedings of 
the commission constitute a rich field for the naturalist as well as the 

Material service was rendered by the United States Fish Commission, 
in the collection of important statistics gathered expressly for the pur- 
I>ose, especially in the presentation of tables, showing the catch of fresh 
tish along the coast of the United States within the treaty limits. This 
work was more particularly under the charge of Mr. G. Brown Goode, 
who executed it to the entire satisfaction of the American counsel. 

The occasion was made use of by me to collect infonnation and to 
prepare a systematic account of what is known of the habits of the cod 
and mackerel, and the various methods of capturing them, the bait to 
be used, &c., which will form the subject of special reports hereafter. 

The award of five and a half millions of dollars, as representing the 
Talue to Great Britain of the privileges conceded to the United States, 
has given very great dissatisfaction in this country, to the New England 
fishermen especially, who denounce it as unjust in the highest degree, 
and express the hope that at the earliest i)ossible moment the treaty will 
be abandoned, even if the original condition of things be restored. 

The very great lack of published information on the subject of the 
American fisheries, as compared with the extremely methodical and 
precise summaries of the Canadian authorities, has induced me to give 
especial attention to this subject for information in the future, and with 
the co-operation of the State Department, which has placed a small 
fond at my disposal for the purpose, I am engaged in collecting, col- 
lating, and digesting the facts and statistics in reference to the Ameri- 
can fisheries, an information doubtless of much value on the occasion of 
another arbitration similar to that at Halifax. This work is more par- 
ticularly in charge of Mr. Goode. 

To ascertain the accuracy of the figures presented at the Halifax 
convention as to the catch by citizens of the United States of mackerel 
off the American and Canadian coast, I employed Mr. Alexander Star- 
buck, of Waltham, Mass., to make a new digest of the records, as 
shown by the State inspections of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massa- 
chusetts. His work has been completed and shows a material difi'erence 
from the old figures, but without affecting the strength of the American 

Statistics of sea fisJieries. — ^Reference has already been made to the data 
relative to this subject at Halifax, and the intention on the part of the 
commission to secure reliable records of the catch, export, and consump- 
tion in the United States of the more important fish. For this pur]X)se 
circulars were issued, requesting answers to certain questions relating to 
the habits, mode of capture, statistics, and disi)Osition of the cod, the 

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mackerel, tlie mullet, the alewlfe, and the smelt. Also another blank 
inviting information as to the extent of the fishery marine, the nature of 
the crews, the tonnage of the vessels, the apparatus used for capture, and 
other incidentals. For the purpose of collecting this information, Mr. 
Vinal Edwards, of Wood's Holl, an assistant of the commission, was 
detailed to visit the fishermen along Buzzard's Bay and Vineyard Sound 
and obtain the data which were needed for the various purposes refer- 
I'ed to. This was found to supplement very satisfactorily the valuable 
body of statistics now being collected under the direction of the com- 
missioners of inland fisheries of Massachusetts. These gentlemen have 
been authorized by the legislature to require a report of the statistics in 
regard to the character and catch of all the pounds, weirs, and gill-nets 
in the commonwealth. 

The results of these several circulars will be published in full in future 
volumes of the report, and I take great pleasure in referring to the 
first of the series — namely, that upon menhaden, as prepared by Mr. 
Goode. This is a most exhaustive and complete history of the subject 
in all its relationships, scientific, biological, and economical. It occupies 
520 pages, and is illustrated by 30 plates. It forms one of the same series 
with the exhaustive paper by Mr. Starbuck upon the whale fisheries, 
published in the fourth volume of the reports of the Commission. 

It is also proposed to direct special attention to the history of the 
Southern mullet. This fish in many respects represents and may be 
said to replace in the South the mackerel in the North. It occurs in 
enormous numbers, indeed such as to i>ennit its capture in even larger 
quantities than the mackerel, coming in shore to spawn in immense 
numbers in the autumn months. It is not at all improbable that a 
catch of half a million barrels could easily be made, and under circum- 
stances involving very much less expense and exposure than would be 
neexled for taking one-quarter that number of mackerel. It is caught 
abundantly all the way from North Carolina southward into the Gulf ot 
Mexico, and is destined at no distant day to represent a very important 
element in the resources and business of the South. At present the 
methods of taking and curing the fish are very inferior to those prac- 
ticed in regard to the mackerel, and the fish is consequently less esteemed ; 
but it is not improbable that in time it will be found to occupy an almost 
equal rank as a food-fish, and a much more important one as an article 
of commerce. 

Another subject to which the attention of the Commission is being 
directed is a similar inquiry in regard to the lake herring, the white- 
fish, and the salmon trout, all of them species captured and cured in 
great quantities, and dividing with the mackerel and the cod the demand 
of the market. 


Mr. William H. Dall, for many years an associate of the Institution, 
in charge of its department of conchology and marine invertebrates gen- 

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erally, spent several months in 1878 in a visit to Europe, especially to 
the zoological museums and to the co-workers in his special department 
of research in Northern Europe. Acting as an accredited agent of the 
Smithsonian Institution, he was authorized to offer its services to special- 
ists in prosecuting their researches, and to invite exchanges of books 
and specimens. Many valuable alliances have been formed in conse- 
quence of this visit, and the Institution has had already the pleasure of 
supplying considerable material in response to calls for the same. 

Availing ourselves of a visit to France in 1878, by Mr. Thomas Don- 
aldson, whose services to the Institution during tbe Centennial Exhibi- 
tion had been of great value, that gentleman was requested to call on 
Mons. de la Batut, who had presented the Institution with relics of James 
Smithson, and procure from him all the information he could furnish rel- 
ative to the founder of this Institution. Mr. de la Batut is the half- 
brother of the nephew of Smithson, to whom the latter bequeathed his 
property, and in case of whose death it was to be devoted to founding 
the Smithsonian Institution. IVIr. Donaldson visited Mr. de la Batut, 
and gathered from him a few facts of interest relative to Smithson, none 
of which, however, were entirely new. He also procured the following 
articles : 

1. An engraved portrait of Hugh Percy, Duke of Korthumberland, 
father of James Smithson and of Col. Henry Louis Dickinson. 

2. A portrait of Henry James Dickinson, son of Col. Henry Louis 
Dickinson, the nephew and heir of Smithson. (Silhoutte profile.) 

3. A paper in the handwriting of James Smithson, a copy of an article 
by an admiral on the cause of a shipwreck in the English channel. 

4. An inventory of the personal effects of James Smithson at the i>eriod 
of his death, made by the British consul at Genoa. 

5. An engraved visiting card bearing the inscription: "Henri de la 
Batut, Hotel Britaanique, rue Louis le Grand, 20.^^ 

0. Copy in wax of the seal of the de la Batut family. 

In addition to its irreparable loss in the death of its late Secretary, 
the Institution has also to lament that of a number of valued corre- 
spondents. Among those to be first mentioned is Mr. Donald Gunn, of 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, a veteran correspondent of the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution, one of the earliest of its meteorological observers, and one who 
for more than twenty years has been a constant contributor of informa- 
tion and collections relating to the natural history of the Northwest. 

Mr. Gunn was a Scotchman by birth, and entered the service of the 
Hudson's Bay Company in 1813 ; but in 1823 resigned and established 
himself in the Selkirk settlement in the Bed Eiver country, where he 
was for a long time a snccessftil instmctor of youth, and ultimately 
was appointed one of the judges of the court of petty sessions, holding 
that position for more than twenty years. He was also a member of the 
first legislative council of Manitoba, in 1871. 

As stated, the first connection of Mr. Gunn with the Smithsonian 

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Institution was that of a meteorological observer. His long-continued 
observations of the weather are among the most reliable of those within 
its archives. His contributions of objects of natural history were still 
more important, embracing, as they did, nearly every branch in the 
various classes of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, and numerous 
collections in archaeology and ethnology. Few reports of the Institu- 
tion since 1850 are without some reference to his services. 

In 1866 he made a special exploration, in behalf of the Institution, of 
the region west of Lake Winnipeg, spending considerable time in the 
vicinity of Shoal Lake and Lake Manitoba, in the course of which he 
collected large numbers of skins and eggs of birds ; among the latter, 
several previously entirely unknown in museums. Within a year cor- 
respondence was in progress with him in regard to the renewal of tJiis 

The death of Mr. Gunn took place in the month of December, at the 
age of 81. It is understood that he has left behind him a minutely de- 
tailed journal of his exi>erience8, and his relations to the colony in 
which he lived for over fifty years, which will doubtless be publiished 
on account of its great historical value. 

Hon. William McKinley, a valued correspondent of the Institution, 
who died on ttie 2d of May, 1878, was born in Abbeville District, South 
Carolina, in the year 1809 ; became a resident of Georgia in early life ; 
was educated at Franklin College, now the University of Georgia, where 
he was graduated 5 entered the profession of law, served as a member of 
the Georgia legislature ; removed to Milledgeville, Ga., where he spent 
the remainder of his long and useful life in the active and extensive 
practice of his profession. He sought relaxation in other pursuits at 
times, none of which were more pleasing to him than the ethnological 
researches connected with that region, so rich in antiquarian remains, in 
which his life was spent. He made, within the last few years, repeated 
contributions of aboriginal remains to the Smithsonian Institution, re- 
markable for their beauty and value. Mr. McKinley also contributed a 
valuable paper entitled "Mounds in Georgia" descriptive of aboriginal 
earthworks on the sea-coast, and of the celebrated Pyramid of Kolee 
Mokee in Early County, to the Smithsonian Eeport for 1872. Further 
additions of antiquities by Mr. McKinley are .mentioned on page 82 of 
the Smithsonian Report of 1875; and at the time of his death, a still later 
collection was in his possession, destined for the Smithsonian Institution, 

EespectfuUy submitted. 

Secretary Smithsonian InstitutUm. 
Washington, January^ 1879. 

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The following are brief accounts of the principal explorations of the 
government in 1878, from which specimens will be derived for increasing 
the collections of the National Museum. They are famished by the sev- 
eral directors of the explorations : 


The work of the survey was intrusted to four parties, viz : One for 
carrying on the primary triaugulation ; two parties for geologic and 
topographic work; and a party for special geologic studies and photog- 
raphy. These were so organized that in case of necessity they could 
be divided for special duty. The field headquarters of the survey was 
at Cheyenne, Wyo., and the outfits and animals were transported via 
the Union Pacific Railroad to their points of departure. 

Geology. — Dr. Hayden, the geologist in charge, accompanied the pho- 
tographic division, and the route pursued gave him an opportunity to 
secure a very accurate general knowledge of the geological structure of 
a large area. The Wind River Range proved one of remarkable interest. 
It has a trend about northwest and southeast, with a length of about lOD 
miles. On the west side all the sedimentary belts have been swept away, 
down to the Archaean, older than the Wahsatch, and the latter formation 
rests on the Archajan rocks all along the base of the range, seldom in- 
clining more than 5° to ICP. On the east side of the range the seams 
of sedimentary formations usually known to occur in the northwest are 
exposed from the Potsdam sandstone, which rests upon the Archaaau 
rocks, to the Cretaceous inclusive. 

Along the northwestern portion of the range the Wahsatch Group only 
is seen for some distance, but as we proceed down the Wind River 
Valley the formations appear one after the other, until at the lower end 
the entire series is exposed.* The Wind River Range may be regarded 
as originally a vast anticlinal, of which one side has been entirely 
denuded of the sedimentary, except the Middle Tertiary. On the same 
side of the range the morainal deposits and glaciated rocks are shown 
on a scale such as we have not known in any other portion of the West. 
Three genuine glaciers were discovered on the east base of Wind River 
and Fremont Peaks, the first known to exist east of the Pacific coast. 
S. Mis. 59 5 65 

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The morainal deposits are also found on a grand scale in the Snake 
Kiver Valley, on the east side of the Teton Range. The numerous lakes 
have been the beds of glaciers, and the shores of the lakes are walled 
with morainal ridges. Korth of the Teton Mountains the prevailing 
rocks are of modem volcanic origin, and in the Yellowstone Park the 
hot springs and geysers are the later manifestations of the intense vol- 
canic activity that once existed. All these interesting features were 
studied with care, and the results will be elaborated for the twelfth an- 
nual report of the survey. 

Mr. W. H. Holmes acted as geologist to the second division. The 
first month of the season he was with the fourth di\ision, which pro- 
ceeded from Point of Rocks Station northward, along the west side of the 
Wind River Mountains, and up the Snake River Valley to the Yellow- 
stone Park, where he joined the second division. In the mean time he 
was engaged in making sketches, panoramic views, and geological sec- 
tions of the intermediate country, all of which will prove of the highest 
importance in illustrating the geological structure of this most interest- 
ing and complicated region. 

The latter part of the summer was spent in making detailed geological 
examinations in the district that includes the National Park. The greater 
portion of the park was found to be covered with somewhat uniform 
flows of the ordinary volcanic rocks. Features of more than ordinary 
geologic interest occur, however, along the northern border of the park 
district. Here a small belt, not more than 15 by 30 miles in extent, con- 
tains a fair epitome of the geology of the Rocky Mountain region. The 
whole series of formations from the earliest to the most recent are almost 
typically developed. The only marked irregularity in the succession of 
geologic events occurred during the great mountain-building period of 
the early Tertiary. After that followed a number of inferior oscillations 
of the surface, during which an extensive series of recent Tertiary and 
volcanic rocks were deposited. Connecting this period with the present 
are the deposits of a number of great lakes, which at the present time 
have their chief representative in Yellowstone Lake. 

The formations of the Tertiary period present features of more than 
ordinary interest. They consist of upward of 5,000 feet of strata which 
are almost totally made up of fragmentary volcanic products. The whole 
period seems to have been one of unparalleled volcanic activity, the lat- 
ter part especially ha\iug yielded such immense quantities of ejecta that 
the strata are almost wholly breccias and conglomerates. These forma- 
tions are therefore so unlike those of corresponding periods in neighboring 
provinces that it is almost impossible, considering the absence of both 
vertebrate and invertebrate remains, to make satisfactory correlations. 
This difficulty is increased by the fact that these formations have a much 
gi*eater elevation than those of any of the neighboring basins of the 
interior or eastern plains districts. They lie in a horizontal position, 
upon the eroded surfaces of the strata of preceding ages, at an eleva- 
tion of from 0,000 to 11,500 feet above the sea. 

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A very extraordinary feature of these rocks is the occurrence of silici- 
fied forests which are found in situ not only at one horizon but at a great 
number of horizons throughout a great part of the whole series. Fos- 
sil leaves found associated with the silicifled forests near the middle of 
the series indicate the prevalence of a flora very closely related to that 
of the present time. They belong, according to Professor Lesquereux, 
to late Miocene or early Pliooene times. 

Among the many jHnnts of interest in the way of flowed volcanic 
rocks was the discovery and examination of extensive deposits of obsid- 
ian. In one locality upwards of 600 feet of obsidian strata occur, much 
of which is solid glass ; banded, spherulitic, and brecciated varieties are 
interbedded with the more solid layers. A very extensive collection of 
these and other volcanic rocks was made. 

No workable beds of coal have been found within the park area, nor 
have any deposits of ihe precious metals been discovered. 

To Dr. A. G. Peale and Mr. J. E. Mushbach was assigned the special 
investigation of the hot springs and geysers. Owing to the lateness of 
the season when the park was reached, and the early storms in Septem- 
ber, there was comparatively little time for work. About two months 
were spent by them in mapping and investigating the springs in the 
Shoshone Basin, Upi>er and Lower Fire-Hole Basins, Bed Mountain 
Basin, Gibbon's Fork Basin, the Mammoth Hot Springs, and the Mud 
Springs localities of the Yellowstone River. 

Over 1,500 temperatures were recorded, and about 2,500 springs were 
mapped and notes taken for their description. Special attention was 
paid to the geysers and notes of their times of eruption and the heights 
reached by them were taken. 

Two of the geyser basins were almost unknown before and had never 
been described. The Gibbon's Fork Basin presented many features of 
interest, among which were the numerous varieties of the siliceous de- 
posits, many of them probably new to science. Water from important 
springs of the principal localities was brought in for future analysis. 
Notes were taken for mapping the difiTerent groups of springs on a large 
scale, so that hereafter they may enable the tourist to identify the in- 
dividual springs. Many new geysers were discovered and new points of 
interest in relation to the old ones obtained. 

Large collections of specimens were made and brought east. 

The notes of this division of the survey being largely statistical, the 
complete results of the work cannot be detailed until they are thor- 
oughly worked up. 

The following is a summary, by Mr. O. St. John, of the geological 
work prosecuted in the field assigned to the Wind River division : 

The region explored comprises a triangular area extending along the 
forty- third parallel from Salt River to the Wind River Valley, a distance 
of about 100 miles. The boundaries on either side converge, uniting 
near the parallel 43° 45'. It thus includes about half of the Wind Rive" 

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Range and the continental water-shed north to Togwotee Pass, the Gros 
Ventre Mountains southeast of Jackson's Basin, and in the southwest 
the considerable area south of the Grand Canon of the Snake filled by 
the southern prolongation of the Snake River Mountains, or what is 
here known as the Wyoming Range, in which latter quarter the work 

The approach was from the south up the valley of Green River, which 
forms a considerable basin area in the southern central portion of the 
district, and which is entirely filled with deposits of tJie age of the Ter- 
tiary. These decline basinwards on the three sides hemmed by the Wy- 
oming, Gros Ventre, and Wind River Mountains, attaining a thickness 
of several thousand feet. 

The northern end of the Wyoming Range was here found to-consist 
of several quite well defined low ridges which reach the maximum of 
ruggedness in the Carboniferous barrier ridge on the western border 
along Salt River. To the east of this belt Hoback's River rises in a basin 
area south of the Gros Ventre Range, which, geologically, is part of the 
Green River Basin, the water-divide being merely a low ridge composed 
of the soft arenaceous Tertiary beds. The latter are here unconformably 
uplifted on the border of the Hoback Canon ridge, the easternmost of 
the Wyoming Range, and which is made up of Carboniferous and Meso- 
zoic formations occupying a synclinal, either border of which appt^ars 
in the monoclinal crests on the east and west sides of this ridge. 

A tributary of the Hoback on the west of the canon ridge flows 
through a valley which penetrates southwards nearly to the southern 
border of the district. In this vicinity the western crest of the Hoback 
Caiion ridge shows en anticlinal structure, the Carboniferous on the west 
flank being succeeded by the Trias, Jura, and Cretaceous, and finally a 
heavy series of sandstones and variegated arenaceous shales which prob- 
ably pertain to the Laramie. The latter stretch across the valley, dip- 
ping westwardly, and impinge on the next west-lying mountain ridge, 
which is also composed of Carboniferous strata, abruptly tilted and 
faulted, with do\^nthrow on the east. Inclining off the west sloi)e of 
this ridge the same series of geological formations are met with as men- 
tioned above, the later-formed showing subordinate folds and making up 
the bulk of the highland to the west which has been carved into a very 
broken belt by the erosion of the eastern tributaries of John Gray's 
River and the gorges descending to the Snake. Beyond this nearly the 
same stratigraphical and structural features recur in the more bulky 
ridge which occupies the interval extending over to Salt River, viz, 
westerly dipping Mesozoic and Post-Cretaceous deposits, impinging 
against the faulted Carboniferous in the ridge on the west. 

In the latter region much information was gained relative to the 
identity in stratigraphical and structural elements that subsist here and 
in the cluster of mountains culminating in Mount Baird north of the 
Grand CaQou. The whole region here referred to proved to be exceed- 

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ingly roQgh, bnt with redeeming valley spaces abounding in good graz- 
ing, while the hills are quite well wooded with coniferous forests. 

The southern flank of the Gros Ventre Mountains was traversed from 
a point near where the Hoback's Caiion ridge first approaches this range, 
thence east to the broad depression separating it from the northern 
portion of the Wind Eiver Eange. In the west the culminating peak 
rises into a bared Archjean cone, the primal rocks occurring at one or 
two points farther east, where they have been laid bare in the deeper 
cafions which all the streams penetrating the mountains from this side 
have excavated. But for the most part this mountain front is heavily 
plated with Palaeozoic formations, including the Potsdam quartzite, 
Quebec limestones, the magnesian limestone, and the still heavier series 
of Carboniferous limestones and sandstones, which latter forms the mass 
of the eastern portion of the range over to the divide at the head of 
water flowing into Green Eiver. The Palaeozoic rocks have been up- 
lifted into great folds, with abrupt inclination on the southerly flanks, 
contrasting with long declivities in the opposite direction, on which side 
the range loses much of its rugged, imposing character. Here and there 
];)atche8 of Mesozoic appear low in the south-side mountain flank, suc- 
ceeded by the unconformable Tertiarj' beds descending into the Hoback 
and Green Eiver Basins. In some of the larger canon mouths interest- 
ing exhibitions of moraina^and other glacial phenomena were first met 

The work in the Wind Eiver Mountains was commenced towards the 
northern end on the west side, and thence carried southwards, circum- 
stances compelling a rapid march round via South Pass to Camp Brown, 
from which point the work was prosecuted northwards along the east 
em flank of the range. 

In the vicinity of Green Eiver Canon, on the west side of the Wind 
River Eange for a few miles, the outer barrier of the mountains preserves 
a remnant of the Palaeozoic formations. These deposits are very similar 
to the corresponding formations in the Gros Ventre Mountains, and 
identical with the much more extensive occurrence of strata of that era 
on the east side of the range. They have been lifted high up on the 
mountain with minor undulations, and, as seen from the open basin to 
the southwest, they have the appearance of curving round the extremity 
of the range. But the latter appearance was found to be deceptive, the 
Archsean soon reappearing in the outer slope to the north of Green 
River Caiion, and thence continuing until all the more ancient rock 
series is hidden by the Cenozoic and Post-Tertiary accmnulations at the 
northern end of the range. 

The brief visit paid to the summit of this portion of the Wind Eiver 
Mountains afforded what is to the student of American geology a field 
of greatest interest in the existence here of li\ing glaciers. The snow- 
fields were found to be much more extensive than was surmised from 
the distant views of the summit, and the ice-filled gorges, especially on 

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the east side at the sources of Torrey's Creek, presented most interestmg 
examples of many of the associated phenomena connected with the gla- 
cier. But compared with their former extent these are but the merest 
vestiges of the ice masses which flowed down and polished the canon- 
walls of all the drainage courses which penetrate the range, and in the 
amount of glaciation and the piled-up dihris strewn along the sides of 
the debouching valleys something like an adequate conception of their 
former extent and comparatively recent dissipation may be formed. 

A few miles south of the canon of Green River the older sedimenta- 
ries have been entirely removed from the mountain border, the Tertiary 
coming in contact with the bared Archaean rocks. Such are the 
geologic features to the southern border of the district, and probably, 
indeed, throughout the we«t flank to the extreme southern terminus at 
South Pass. 

The eastern flank of this range was found to possess a much more ex- 
tensive area occupied by the Palseozoic formations, which, for the most 
part, are simply upraised, forming so many more or less well-marked in- 
clined benches. The most recent of these is comx)osed of the Carbon- 
iferous, preceded by the magnesian limestone, Quebec limestone, and 
primordial quartzitea, which lithologically, and in the tox)Ographic fea- 
tures molded out of them, bear close resemblance to the west flank of 
the T^ton Mountains. At no point were tbe Trias and later Mesozoic 
formations found rising to any considerable elevation on the mountain 
border ; on the contrary their presence marks the boundary between 
the orographic and basin areas. The latter formations present in a gen- 
eral way typical lithologic features characterizing their occurrence in 
the region to the west, with however many and in some respects some- 
what strongly contrasted local stratigraphic peculiarities. The "red 
beds" of the Trias exhibit enormous local accumulations of massive and 
laminated gypsum, and the Cretaceous here contains seams of coal 
which will become of economic value. 

In the Wind River Basin the unconformable Tertiary occupies the 
interval reaching over to the Owl Creek Mountains to the northeast. 
The border of this basin along the foot of the Wind River Mountains 
presents some extraordinary spring deposits of very modem date in 
places incorporated with the gravel deposits occurring in terraces at 
the foot of the mountains. Many, perhaps the majority, of the spring 
sources have l)ecome extinct; but a few remain, evidently but feeble as 
compared with their former volume, but which have built up quite ex- 
tensive deposits of calcareous tufa. Some of the older dei)osit6 present 
much the appearance of porous limestones forming extensive benches in 
the mountain's foot. The presence of these deposits in some of the 
canons on this side of the mountains is associated with the most pictur- 
esque scenery. All the streams that rise high up in the mountains 
were formerly the beds of extensive glaciers which built up the great 
morainal ridges, like those which border the debouchures of the Little 

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Wind Biver, Bull Lake, Dinwiddie, and Torrey's Forks, only less ex- 
tensive accumulations of glacial materials than those found along the 
west border of the range. 

In the water-shed extending northward from the northern end of the 
Wind Biver Bange extensive ai*enaceous deposits of modern-looking 
Tertiary age but slightly disturbed, are met with, and which evidently 
form uninterrupted connection with the Wind Biver Tertiaries on the 
one hand and the deposits which occupy so large area east of Jackson's 
Basin on the other. In the latter quarter, in the Mount Leidy high- 
lands, and along the upper courses of the main tributaries of the Gros 
Ventre, in lower strata of the same series, extensive developments of 
lignite were met with, the special investigation of which was undertaken 
by Mr. Perry. In still more ancient horizons other lignitic seams were 
found which, together with those just mentioned, render this one of the 
most important coal-producing areas as yet discovered in this region. 

In the latter region the lignitic and older mesozoic formations within 
a narrow belt at the northern foot of the Gros Ventre Mountains have 
been thrown into a series of sharp parallel folds. To the northeast the 
Tertiaries dip, with gradually slackening inclination, until they pass be- 
neath the volcanic mantle in the vicinity of Togwotee Pass } on the op- 
I>osite side the older Mesozoics as uniformly rise up on the flank of the 
Gros Ventre Mountains, whose nofthem crest reveals the regular 
courses of the Carboniferous limestone which in places preserves a cop- 
ing of the Triassic " red beds.'' 

During the last two months the expedition encountered much in- 
clement weather, embarrassing the prosecution of the field-work; and 
on its arrival in the region of Mount Leidy and Buffalo Fork, about the 
middle of October, it was overtaken by the early snows of winter, which 
virtually closed the field-work for the season. 

Paleontology. — So large an amount of paleontological material hed 
accumulated during the previous years that its critical study became 
necessary for the purpose of aiding in the elucidation of certain problems 
in structural geology which had arisen in the prosecution of the field- 
work. Dr. C. A. White, paleontologist to the survey, therefore devoted 
the whole season of 1878 to this work at the office, instead of taking the 
field as he did the previous season. The work which thus engaged hia 
attention embraces the preparation of a detailed report of his fieldwork 
for 1877, including the discussion of important questions connected with 
it, the preparation of a large number of new fossil invertebrates for 
publication and illustration, and the illustration of all the types of 
species in the collections of the survey which the late Mr. F. B. Meek 
had described, but not illustrated. 

Besides the collections made by the various parties of the survey, 
others have from time to time been received from several persons not 
officially connected with it, from different parts of the western portion of 
the national domain. The investigation of these collections brings o^*' 

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some interesting facts concerning the geographical distribation of types, 
especially those of marine Cretaceous invertebrates. Among the more 
interesting results of Dr. White's investigations is the recognition of a 
Triassic fauna in the rocks of Southeastern Idaho. This is of especial 
interest as being the first discovery of distinctively Triassic invertebrate 
types in the West, east of those now well known to exist in the Pacific 
coast region; and also on account of the close relationship of these 
types with those of the Middle Trias of Europe, while those of the 
Pacific coast represent the Upper Trias. 

Primary trumgulatian. — The primary triangulation of 1878 was ex- 
tended northward from that of 1877 which was begun at Eawlins, Wyo., 
where it connected with the system of triangulation of the survey of the 
fortieth parallel. 

The triangulation party, in charge of Mr. A. D. Wilson, left the Union 
Pacific Kailroad at Point of Eocks, Wyo., on July 28. They traveled 
northward to the western base of Wind Eiver Eange, where their work 
began. In this range two stations were made, on Wind River and Fre- 
mont's Peaks. 

Traveling westward from the base of this rsmge, they crossed the head 
of Green River Basin, and, threading the canon of Hoback's River, they 
reached the Snake at the head of its canon. 

They followed this stream up to' the eastern base of the Grand T6ton, 
where, finding it impracticable to ascend this mountain from the east, 
they crossed to Pierre's Hole by way of the T^ton Pass. From this, the 
west side, the peak was found to be more accessible, and Mr. Wilson 
succeeded in reaching, with his instruments, a secondary summit 100 to 
200 feet lower than the main crest, and distant irom. it about 400 feet. 
He reported the true summit to be practically inaccessible. 

From Pierre's Hole the party next went northwest to Sawtelle's Peak, 
near Henry's Lake, in Eastern Idaho. On the night following the as- 
cent of this mountaiu, all the animals belonging to the party were stolen 
by Bannock Indians, leaving the party afoot, at least 100 miles from 
the nearest settlement. 

After carefully caching their instruments, tlie party made their way on 
foot across arid plateaus to the Geyser Basins, where they met the par- 
ties of Messrs. Gannett and Jackson. With tlieir ai*l, and the kind as- 
sistance of Mr. James Eccles, an English gentleman who, with a party 
of his own, was visiting the country, Mr. Wilson was again fitted out, 
his instruments having in the mean time been recovered, and his work 
weut on with but little delay. 

His next station was Mount Sheridan, the highest i)eak of the Red 
Mountains, in the* southern part of the Yellowstone National Park. 
Thence he visited Electric Peak, near the northern boundary of the 
park, and the highest summit within its limits. The well-known Mount 
W^ashburn was his next station, and from that mountain he went south- 
ward, passing around Yellowstone Lake and up the Upper YellowstonCi 

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intending to make a station cm a high peak of the Yellowstone Eange, 
near the head of the latter stream. The snow, however, which had 
been accumnlating for a month in that high mountain region, had be- 
come at that time (about the end 6f September) so deep that it was im- 
possible to do any more work. Indeed, it had accumulated so in the 
]>a8ses about the heads of the Upper Yellowstone, Snake, and Wind 
Kivers, that the party found difficulty in gettiug their animals over 
them. Finally, however, the party reached the head of Wind Eiver, 
and thence traveled to Bawlins, Wyo., on the Union PaciHc Eailroad, 
where they were disbanded. 

Topography. — To the party in charge of Mr. Henry Gannett was in- 
trusted the work of making a detailed survey of the Yellowstone Park, 
with extended study of the phenomena of the hot springs and geysers. 
Mr. W. H. Holmes was detailed as geologist of this division, while to 
Dr. A. C. Peale was intrusted the study of the hot springs and geysers, 
Mr. Oannett undertaking the secondary triangulation and topography 
of the park, and his assistant, Mr. J. E. Mushbach, the detailed survey 
of the geyser basins and other groups of springs. 

The party left Granger Station, Wyo., on July 28 ; drove up Green 
Eiver to the head of the basin; thence down the rugged defile of Ho- 
back's Biver to the Snake, and up the Snake to its forks at the south 
bpundary of the Yellowstone Park. 

Turning westward at this pohit, they spent a few days in surveying 
Fall Eiver and its affluents, then returned to the Shoshone Geyser Ba- 
sin at the west end of Shoshone Lake. Here the party was joined by 
Mr. Holmes, who up to that time had accompanied Dr. Hayden in the 
Wind Eiver and Teton Mountains. 

Leaving the body of the party in permanent camp at the Shoshone 
Geyser Basin, Messrs. Holmes and Gannett visited the Bed Mountains 
and the country south of Yellowstone Lake. On their return from this 
trip, which occupied a week, the party, re-enforced by that of Mr. Jack- 
son, moved across the divide to the Upper Geyser Basiu, near the head 
of the Madison (Fire Hole) Eiver. Here Dr. Peale and Mr. Mushbach 
were left to carry on their work, while the party continued on down the 
Fire Hole Biver to the Lower Geyser Basin. Thence they crossed to the 
YeUowstone Eiver via Howard's road, and continued down that river 
to the Mammoth Hot Springs on Gardiner's Eiver, where the supplies 
for the season were stored. 

Befitted with provisions, the party returned up the Yellowstone as 
far as the mouth of its east fork, which they ascended nearly to its head 
in the rugged Yellowstone Bange; then crossed a high, roUiug divide 
to Pelican Creek, a tributary to Yellowstone Lake. Following tliis 
stream down they reached Yellowstone Lake at its northeastern comer, 
skirted its eastern shore to its head, and traveled several miles up the 
Upper Yellowstone Eiver ; thence they returned to the foot of the lake 
and followed the river down to the Mammoth Hot Springs, arrivitig 
there about October first. ^^^^^^^^^ ^^ ^OOgie 


Starting a second time from the springs, the party traveled south- 
ward to the headwaters of Gardiner's Eiver and Gibbon's Fork of the 
Fire Hole, following the road recently cut by Colonel Norris, superin- 
tendent of the Yellowstone National Park, from the Mammoth Springs 
to the Geyser Basins. Having completed their work in this direction, 
they spent a few days in studying the south end of the Gallatin Range, 
which separates the waters of the Yellowstone from those of the Gal- 
latin, and then returned to the Mammoth Springs; whence, having been 
joined by Messrs. Peale and Mushbach, they went to Bozeman, Mont., 
where the party disbanded. 

The above is a sketch of the route of travel of the party. From it 
the geologist and topographer branched off widely, thus covering the 
country between the routes of travel. 

The area embraced in this survey is about 3,500 square miles, of which 
material for a map on a scale of one mile to an inch was secured. In 
prosecution of the work of secondary tiiangulation and topography 47 
stations were made, from which 2,100 horizontal and 500 vertical angles 
were measured. Altogether 370 points were located, an average of 1 in 
9^ square miles ; 230 observations for height were made with the mer- 
curial barometer, and 100 with the aneroid. 

Material for maps in detail of all localities of special interest was col- 
lected. Among these may be mentioned the well-known Geyser Basins, 
on the Fire Hole, the Shoshone Geyser Basin, the fine group of springs 
at Heart Lake, and those on Gibbon's Fork discovered by Colonel Nor- 
ris, the Mammoth Springs on Gardiner's River, the Mud Geysers on the 
Yellowstone, and others. The heights of all important waterfalls were 
determined by measurement with tbe tai)e-line, and thus the vexed ques- 
tion of the height of the Yellowstone Lower Falls was definitely settled. 

The area occupied by the Yellowstone Park has a great elevation, 
ranging in the flat country from G,500 feet to 9,000, while its mountain 
peaks reach heights of 11,000 feet. Its mean elevation is about 8,000 
feet. Within this elevated region head three large rivers, the Madison 
and Yellowstone, which flow off northward to join the Missouri, and the 
Snake, or Lewis Fork of the Columbia, which at first has a southerly 
course. The greater part of the Park is a rolling plateau, broken here 
and there by small groups of mountains, as the Bed Mountains and the 
Washburn Group. East of the Yellowstone Eiver, separating its drain- 
age from that of the Big Horn, is a high, rugged, volcanic range, whose 
peaks reach 11,000 to 12,000 feet. This range was, in 1871, named 
*< Yellowstone Eange" by Dr. Hayden. 

Excepting a narrow belt in the northern part-, this park is everywhere 
heavily timbered. Indeed, with the exception of Washington Territory 
and the western portion of Oregon, it is the most densely timbered area 
in the West. There is pr^tically no arable land within its limits owing 
to its great altitude, and, except along its northern border, little open 
country suitable for pasturage. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The heavy growth of timber indicates and fosters a comparatively 
moist climate. The park is a region of lakes and swampy traets, of 
springs, and abundant perennial streams. The summer season is short. 
While fix)st« may be expected any night in the year, the winter holds 
until June and commences again in September. July and August 
usually afford fine but cool weather, with cold nights; but September 
brings frost and snow. 

The third division, under Mr. F. A. Clark, surveyed the Wind River 
Mountains, a portion of the Wyoming Range, the Gros Ventre Range, 
with a large area in the Snake River Valley. Mr. Clark made 31 gradi- 
enter stations and 15 compass stations. The area lies between latitude 
430 and 440 and longitude 109o 15' and 111°. This includes the upper 
IK)rtion of the Wind River Mountains, with portions of the Wyoming 
Range, the Gros Ventre Range, and portions of the Shoshone Mount- 
ains and the Owl Creek Range ; also the sources of Green River, Hoback 
Basin, and upi)er waters of Wind River. Mr. St. John acted as geolo- 
gist and Mr. N. W. Perry as mineralogist to this party. Their reports 
will prove of general interest Mines of gold, silver, iron, and vast beds 
of gypsum, as well as many other minerals, were found. 

Photography. — In the prosecution of the field-work of the survey dur- 
ing the past season a photographic division was again put in operation, 
after an interval of two years, under the leadership of Mr. W. H. Jack- 
son, who has been connected with the survey as its photographer during 
the past nine ye^rs. 

Leaving Point of Rocks, on the Union Pacific Railroad, on July 24, 
the first points of interest were reached on the western flank of the 
Wind River Mountains. Two side trips, undertaken in connection with 
Mr. Wilson, in charge of the primary triangulation, were made to the 
orest of the range, and some grand views of tliat remarkable region 
were obtained. From the summit of Fremont's Peak views were made 
of Bin immense glacier now occupying its eastern slope. Fine views 
were also obtained of the great glaciated plateau lying between the 
plains and the crest of the range. 

Proceeding next to the vicinity of the Grand T^tons, lying to the east 
of the headwaters of the Snake River, several magnificent views of the 
remarkable range in which they occur were made from the neigh^jorhood 
of Jackson's Lake. 

Reaching Shoshone Lake the 18th of August, tiie entire month follow- 
ing was devoted exclusively to photographing the remarkable phenomena 
connected with the hot springs and geysers of the various basins within 
the Park. Especial attention wa« paid to the almost unknown but ex- 
ceedingly interesting features of the new Shoshone and Red Mountain 
Basins. The "Fire Hole'' and "Mammoth Hot Spring" Basins were 
again gone over, and the experience derived from tiie work done here in 
former years shows its benefits in the remarkably efiective views obtained 
this season. At this latter basin many detailed as well as general views 

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were made with especial reference to the fhture prodaction of an exact 
model in plaster of the whole groap. 

On the homeward route, which was by the way of the Upper Yellow- 
stone, across the headwaters of the Snake to the Wind Eiver and thence 
via Camp Brown to the railroad, a number of very effective views were 
made, particularly about the Grand Falls and the cadon of the Yellow- 
stone. At the Yellowstone Lake some very fine views were made, but 
that region was not completed, in consequence of a prolonged snow-storuL 

At the Togwotee Pass some characteristic views were obtained of the 
remarkable breccia mountains, whose castellated forms adorn that por- 
tion of the continental divide, and also s«)me of the curious ^* bad lands" 
farther down on Wind Biver. The season^s work closed at Gamp Brown, 
where portraits and groups were made of the Bannock prisoners in cou- 
finement at that post 

A brief summing up of the season^s operations of three months, much 
of which time was characterized by extremely inclement weather, shows 
an increase to the already very extensive collection of the survey, of 45 
negatives 11 by 14 inches in size, and 110 of smaller ones, 5 by 8. 

Publications.— During the year 1878 the publications of the United 
States Greological Survey have been numerous and important, yielding 
in no respect to those of any previous year, and ftdly sustaining the 
reputation this orgatiization has acquired for the ])rompt and full exhibit 
of its operations. Eleven separate publications have api)eared and others 
have been brought to a forward state of preparation. 

Perhaps the most important of these as a contribution to pure science 
is the seventh volume of the quarto reports. This is Prof. Leo Lesque- 
reux's beautiftil monograph, " The Tertiary Flora,'^ forming a compan- 
ion volume to the same author's " Cn»taceons Flora,^ which latter con- 
stitutes the sixth volume of the series. It consists of nearly 400 pages, 
and is illustrated with 66 plates. 

A further contribution to the fossil flora of the West has been made 
in the publication of 26 plates, entitled " Illustrations of the Cretaceous 
and Tertiary Plants of the Western Territories of the United States " 
This volume consists only of the plates and explanatory text, the full 
report upon the subject being deferred. 

The regular annual report of progress for the year 1876, being the 
tenth of this series, appeared during the past year. This makes a vol- 
ume of about 550 pages, illustrated with 79 plates and various wood- 
cuts. There has also been issued in pamphlet form the preliminary re- 
port of operations for 1878, in advance of the regular rei)ort for that 

The Miscellaneous Publications' Series has been continued during the 
year by the issue of Nos. 10 and 11. Miscellaneous Publication No. 10 
consists of a Bibliography of North American Inveitebiate Paleontology, 
prepared by Dr. C. A. White and Prof. H. Alleyne Nicholson. Miscel- 
laneous Publication No. 11 is entitled " The Birds of the Colorado Val- 

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ley," and consists of Part First of an extensive work upon North Ameri- 
can Ornithology, by Dr. Elliott Coues, U. 8. A. Both these treatises 
have become indispensable to the students of the special branches of 
which they respectively treat. 

The Bulletins of the survey have appeared during the year with the 
usual regularity, the four numbers issued in 1878 forming volume IV. This 
publication is now established as a regular annual serial, and the pres- 
ent volume, like its predecessors, contains articles on a wide range of 
scientific topics embraced within the general 8Cox>e of the operations of 
the survey. 

The United States Entomological Commission, conducted under the 
auspices of this survey, has during the year issued its first annual re- 
I)ort, as an octavo volume of nearly 800 pages, with plates and wood- 
cuts. It is devoted to the subject of the Eocky Mountain Locust, and 
contains a fall exhibit of the results secured by the commission ap- 
X>ointed to investigate that important problem. 


The work during 1878 was performed by nine main parties and three 
astronomical parties, which operated in the States of California, Colo- 
rado, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas, and Arizona, New Mexico, and Wash- 
ington Territories. Forty-six observers took the field, leaving a small 
force at the Wasliington oflQce engaged in the preparation of maps and 
reports. The astronomical parties, in charge of Professor T. F. Safford, 
at the Ogden Observatory, Mr. J. H. Clarke in the California sections, 
and Mr. Miles Rock in the Colorado section, made observations at 
Walla- Walla-, Washington Territory ; the Dalles, Oregon ; Fresno, Cali- 
fornia ; Fort Bli^s, Texas ; and Fort Bayard, New Mexico, connecting 
with Ogden as the initial meridian. 

Ill California, topographical parties occupied points in the Cascade 
Mountains and ranges to the eastward within the Great Interior Basin 
extending towards the Blue Ridge, reconnoitring a large area. Opera- 
tions were carried southward from Lake Tahoe along the Sierra Nevada, 
one party occupying the White Mountain Range and connecting with 
the triangulation which joins the astrcmomical station at Austin, Nevada, 
A contour survey of the Washoe mining region was completed, and 
numerous details gathered relating to the operations of the vertical and 
meridional sections of the lodes. 

Work for completing the topography of the section between Sierra 
Nevada and Cascade Ranges was also carried on. From the southern 
end of the Sierra Nevada a party transferred from the Utah section 
connected with the work of 1875 from Los Angeles east and north, and 
operated along the Coast Range to latitude 3(P 3(y N. 

In Colorado, one party, following the Rio Grande northward, filled in 

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details of new routes of eommanication and of incomplete meanders, 
and was further employed upon detailed work. A detachment mean- 
dered north and westward from the Rio Grande at Los Lanos, opposite 
Fort McEae, through the basin of the Little Colorado to Gamp Apache, 
Arizona, and thrice eastward again to the Eio Grande, making mean- 
ders of considerable precision along three natural routes of communica- 
tion from the drainage basins of the Gila Salt Eiver and Colorado Chi- 
quito to the Bio Grande. 

Another party extended the triangulation southward to connect with 
astronomical station at Fort Bliss, Texas; also connecting with the 
astronomical monument of the Mexican Boundary Survey at Bi Paso, 
Texas, and the monument on that part of the boundary-line on the west- 
ern bank of the Bio Grande. \ 

The following Hst shows the number of the principal observations 

Sextant latitude stations 90 

Bases measured 5 

Triangles about bases measured 64 

Main triangulation stations occupied 62 

Secondary triangulation stations occupied 21 

Miles measured on meanders 10,298 

Cistern barometer stations occupied 1,141 

Aneroid barometer stations occupied - 7,057 

Magnetic variations observed , 165 

Mining camps visited 12 

Mineral and thermal springs noted 20 

The estimated area occupied by the survey during the season, includ- 
ing main triangulation and preliminary reconnaissance work, was 35,000 
square miles. The area from which detailed topographical data were 
gathered sufficient for a map, on a scale of one inch to four miles, was 
approximately 27,500 miles. 

Besides the topographical work, one party in the Colorado section was 
devoted entirely to geological examination, under the charge of Pro- 
fessor J. J. Stevenson, assisted by Mr. J. C. Russell. Its area of opera- 
tions was along the Spanish ranges between the Eio Grande and Cana- 
dian llivers, in the northern part of Xew Mexico, where its labors were 
greatly facilitated by the use of the completed topographical maps. The 
section of the lignitic gi*oup was worked out, and twenty-six beds of lig- 
nitic coal were recognized as present at most localities within the area 
where the horizon was reached. ISIuch labor was l)estowed u|K)n a study 
of the axes, the structure of which was found to be exceedingly compli- 
cated, requiring further detailed examination. Quite large collections 
were made of igneous rocks and fossils, about three hundred specimens 
of the former being obtained from seventy localities, forming a complete 
series illustrating the lithologj' of the injected dikes, volcanic overflows, 
and extinct craters of the region. 

The fossils, numbering over thirteen hundred 8i>ecimens, are from 

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Tocka of the Carboniferous age^ from Oretaceous strata, 'Sob. 2, 3, and 
4, and firom overlying beds of the Lignitic gronp. 

From the Carboniferoos formation, aboat seven hundred specimens 
were obtained; from the Oretaceollis, five hundred, illustrating its in- 
vertebrate fauna ; and from the coal-bearing Lignitic group, resting on 
the black shales of Cretaceous stratum Ko. 4, about two hundred speci- 
mens of fossil leaves. 

Zoological collections were mainly made by the party operating from 
Northern California northward, and illustrate the zoology of the area 
extending fix>m Camp Bidwell, Caliibmia, to the Columbia Eiver, Ore- 
gon. To this party Mr. H. W. Henshaw was attached as naturalist. 
The collection made comprises upwards of three hundred specimens of 
birds, specimens of fishes from most of the lakes and streams encoun- 
tered, with Lepidopteraj OrdMpieTOj and numerous reptiles and Batra* 

The field season ended early in December. The work of this survey 
has now covered, since its commencement in 1850, connected areas 
reaching from the Columbia Biver on the north to the Mexican border, 
and from the 100th meridian, near Fort Dodge, to the Pacific Coast, near 
lios Angeles, an area now exceeding 350,000 square miles. 

The publications during the year are as follows: Vol. II, quarto series, 
Astronomy and Barometric Hypsometry 5 "A Catalogue of 2,018 Stars, 
for Latitude Work West of the Mississippi," and ten of the regular atlas- 
sheets. Vol. VI, quarto series, was in stereotype at the close of 1878 5 
a " List of Distances, Positions, Altitudes," &c., was well advanced in 
printing ; and Vols. I and VJI, of the quarto series, awaited the appear- 
ance of Vol. VL Seventeen atlas-sheets, also from work prior to 1878, 
aie in various stages of progress. 


The labors of this survey have been continued during 1878. From 
the return of the field-parties in the autumn of 1877 till July, 1878, the 
entire corps remained in Washington, preparing the results of the field- 
work for publication. In July, 1878, a division was sent to the field, 
but a force was also retained at Washington to continue the ethno- 
graphic work, and to complete and edit certain unfinished reports. 

The office-work thus acquired an exceptional importance as compared 
with the field-work, which, for the season of 1878, was placed in charge 
of Mr. O. K. Gilbert, his principal assistants being Messrs. J. H. Een- 
shaw, O. D. Wheeler, and S. H. Bodfish. 

Tiiking the field at Gunnison, Utah, in the early part of August, the 
work was carried on by four independent parties till the middle of De- 
cember, when the advance of winter made it necessary to disband them. 

The Kanab base-line, four and one-third miles long, has been care- 

Digitized by V^OO^ l(^ 


fally remeasured, with a probable error of 1.5 inches, as well as the 
southern portion of the chain of triangles connecting it with the Gun- 
nison base-line. The main change of triangulation, consisting of eight 
quadrilaterals, one triangle, and one pentagon, is now ready for discus- 
sion. At each end of the chain a base-line has been measured, and an 
astronomical determination has been made of latitude, longitude, and 
azimuth. The most southerly points visited were Mount San Francisco 
and Mount Floyd, volcanic peaks on tbe ('olorado plateau south of 
Grand Caiion. Southern Utah is not well adapted for triangulation. 
Its principal eminences are table-lands or plateaus covered with timber, 
there being very few sharp peaks readily distinguishable from all direc- 

The work of Mr. Benshaw's party, with plane-table and orograph, em- 
braces all of the region lying south of the Grand Gallon in sections 105 
and 106, covering about 7,500 square miles. This field comprised a 
portion of what is known as tbe Colorado Plateau, a high tableland 
lying immediately south of the Colorado River, which there runs west- 
wardly at the bottom of a deep chasm. On the southern edge of the 
plateau there are innumerable extinct volcanoes, the ground being 
covered by a forest of pine, the most valuable tract of timber in Arizona. 
The northern edge is lower, mid is bare of timber. Kiear the Colorado 
Gallon it is broken by gorges, and is difficult of access, but in other 
directions there is little impediment to travel. Water is scarce, and is 
found only in pockets and small springs, there being none available for 
irrigation. The only wealth of the country lies in timber and grass. 
West of tbe plateau, Mr. Eenshaw's map includes a portion of Hualapai 
Valley and the adjacent mountains. This region is almost an absolute 
desert, water being so scarce tbat in some places it is sold by the gallon. 
Agriculture is out of the question, and there is no timber. Grazing is 
practicable to a limited extent. The only important industry, present or 
prospective, is mining, and only the richest of the numerous gold and 
silver deposits can now be worked with profit, owing to the remoteness 
of all sources of supplies. 

Mr. Wheeler worked with plane-table and orograph in the western 
half of the region comprised by atlas-sheet No. lOG, and estimates his 
total area at 5,000 square miles. Tfirough the centre of his district there 
runs from north to south a natural barrier called the Echo Clif^ The 
escarpment faces westward, and the plateau at the west of it is 1,000 
feet lower than that to the eastward. The eastern plateau is a broad 
desert of sand, scantily watered, and useful only for grazing purposes. 
The western plateau is equally barren and worthless, but presents more 
variety of surface. A portion consists of naked "bad lands," soft stra^ 
carved by the elements into hills of picturesque beauty, and tinted with 
a variety of brilliant colors which warrant the title of Painted Desert, 
bestowed by Lieutenant Ives. Another portion is extremely rocky, and 
divided by a net-work of impassable oaOons. Through this region runs 

Digitized by VoiOO^ l(^ 


the Little Colorado Eiver, a stream of considerable magnitude, but, on 
acooont of the character of its banks, of no service to agriculture. Echo 
Cliff is interrupted at one point by a cross-line of drainage, and there 
are a few springs available for inning. No other spot invites settle- 
ment. Maps, on a scale of four miles to one inch, show the geography 
of the entire region embraced in the survey of Mcgor Powell ; a map 
is also under construction intended to represent the distribution of the 
various tribes of Indians when first discovered by Europeans. 
S. Mis, 59 6 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Table shatcing the number of entries in the record-books of the United States 
National Museum at the close of the years 1877 and 1878, respectively. 




Mammals ...•••..... 


Reptiles and amphibiana. . 

Fishes ^, 

Skeletons and skulls 






Invertebrate fossils 


Ethnological specimens . . . 


Increase for 1878. 


9, COO 





















ApproaAmate table of the distribution of duplicate specimens to the end of 



Skeletons and skulls. 





Nests and eggs of 





Other marine inver- 
tebrates ....* 

Plants and packages 
of seeds 


>Unerals and rocks.. 

Ethnological speci- 

Diatomaceons earths 


Total to the end of 





























Distribution during 


Species. Specimens. 

























Total to the end of 


Species.! Specimens. 



























Digitized by VjOOQIC 



SEUM IN 1878. 

Akron (Ohio) City Museum. Eighteen species of fresh-water Unio$; 
from Ohio. 

Albroy Samuel {through Hon. Samuel PoweJ). Fish {Pseudopria4^nthus 
alius) 'f from Newport, E. I. 

Aldrichy Charles. Collections of living snakes, turtles, and frogs; and 
specimens of Indian relics; from Iowa. 

Alexander^ James H. Box of ethnological and mineralogical sjiecimens; 
from New York. 

AUen^ Charles A. Collection of birds^ eggs and nests, and six living 
totles; from California. 

AUen^ Charles 8. Collection of birds' skins and eggs; from Long Island, 

AUenj George K. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Anderson^ Capt Chris. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

AndersoHy JE. J. Salmon {Salmo salar)'^ from the Delaware Eiver. 

Anderson^ William. Six stone implements; from Illinois. 

Andrews J Frank D. Eight rude arrow-heads; from New Jersey. 

Andrews^ F. 8. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

ArteSy Cluirles F. Photography and drawings of Indian relics, and rel- 
ics frx)m mounds in Illinois. 

Armisteadj E. P. Ball of hair taken froxn stomach of cow. 

AtkinSy Charles O. Three boxes of fishes; from Bucksjwrt and Grand 
Lake Stream, Maine. 

Atkinson^ John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Babcockj A. L. Six birds' skins; from Massachusetts. 

Babsonj Fitz J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Baisonj Fitz J.^jr. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Babsony William JET. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com. 

Bairdj Prof. 8. F. Five gudgeons {Hybognathus regim)^ from Babcock 
Lake; three terrapins, from the Susquehanna Eiver. 

Baker J Captuin. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Bantaj W. V. and J. Garrison. Bones of human skeleton; taken from 
Indian mound at Salem, Iowa. 

Barbery E. A. Articles of Indian ornament, from Arizona and Utah; 
marine animals and Indian stone relics, from New Jeirsey, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Maryland. 

Digitized by V^OO^ IC:^ 


Barker J Dr. 8. W. Mud-eel (Siren lacertina)', from Charleston, S. C. 

Barthj Henry. Mineral ; from Maryland. 

Bartlettj A. (See Washington, D. 0., United States Fish Commission.) 

Bassettj L. Stone axe; from Iowa. 

Bates J James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Botusettj Williavd A. (See Washington,, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bean^ Dr. T. JET. Collection of stone implements, from Eastern Penn- 
sylvania ; collection of frogs, snakes, lizards, and fishes, from Prince 
George's County, Maryland ; four specimens of fish, fromlforfolk, Va. 

Beardsleyj Grant. Stag-beetle {Cerphus elephas)) from North Carolina. 

Beauchampj Rev. W. M. Five stone implements; from New York. 

Beckwithj Harney. (See King's Mountain Mine.) • 

Beldingy L. Seven boxes of birds' skins and twelve Indian relics ; from 

Bell^ William. Specimen of iron pyrites ; from Virginia. 

Bellamy J Frank H. Box of fragmentary erennite stems, from Alabama; 
Indian relics, from Alabama and North Carolina. 

Bcndire^ Capt Charles^ V. 8. A. Nest and eggs of Passeretla townsendii 
var. schistaceaj and Clark's crow, also box of birds' skins ; from Oregon. 

BenneTj D. B. Squeezed copy of rock inscription and Indian reUcs ; 
from Virginia. 

Berlin^ A. F. Collections of stone implements ; from Beading, Pa. 

Bemaysy Lewis A. Photographs of mummies found in forks of trees, 
Queensland, Australia. 

Berryy Henry. Steel dagger used by Wisconsin Indians. 

BiddlBy Henry J. Box of relics exhumed from mound in Florida. 

Bigelowj 0. Stone implement ; from New York. 

Blackburn^ Capt. Willinm. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Blackfordj E. 6. Many specimens of fish (salmon, cod, trout, shad, &c.), 
brought to Fulton Market, New York, from various parts of the United 

Blackly^ C. P. Mounted specimen of American eared grebe (Podiceps 
auriius var. ealifomicus) ; from Kansas. 

Blake, Capt. J. 6., U. 8. B. M. Si)ecimen of Remora; from Bhode Island. 

Bland, Thomas. Specimens of shells (Bulimus, Pagurus, and Lignus) ; 
from Tobago and Gonaive Islands. 

Blatchfard, Capt. B. F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Boardman,^ Oeorge A. Specimens of spotted ury-mouth ( Cryptacanthodes 
maculatus) and stickleback {Oasterosteus biaeuleatus)', from Calais, 

Boehmer, Oeorge H. Collection of" fossfl-casts," from Maryland; speci- 
men of itacolumite, from North Carolina. 

Bomar, Thomas H. Snakes (Ophibolus getulus, Crotalus miliaris) and 
arrow-heads : from South Carolina. . .^.^,^,,^ 

' Digitized by ^OO^ l(^ 


BostoHj Mrs. C. B. Box of shells ; from Illinois. 

Brace^ Lewis J. K. Box of Mrds from the Bahama Islimds. (Beceived 
in 1877.) 

Brackettj Col A. O.^ U. 8. A. Head of eel-pout, from Little Big Horn 
Kiver, Montana; specimen of field-mouse {Arvicola)^ from Montana. 

Brady ^ Samuel Copper spear and barrel of stone mining-hammers; 
from Michigan. 

BraneTj William. Collection of copper and flint arrow-heads ; from Wis- 

Brazier J Benjamin 8. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Breedy E. E. Nest of " cari)enter-bee." 

BraUm^ Fred. Specimens of arrow-heads, &c. ; from West Virginia and 

Brewer J Dr. T. M. Egg of Clarke's crow. 

Brewster J William. Yive nkius of Siiia pusilla. 

BriggSj Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Brisbane. (See Queensland.) 

Brittj Thomas A. Collection of Florida shells. 

Brock, R. A. Cocoons of Cecropia silk-work ; from Virginia. 

Brodnaxy Benjamin IT., M. B. A fine collection of stone axes, spear 
and arrow heads, hematite plummets, &c. ; from Louisiana. 

JBrotm, J>r. J. J. Sj^ecimen of coral {Biploaria cerebrijbrmis) ] from 
l^assau, K P. 

Brownj Stephen 8. Sample of " Nicaragua'' wheat ; from Waco, Texas. 

Brown, WiUiam. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bryan, Oliver JT. Box of rude stone implements ; ftt)m Maryland. 

Burbank, Martin. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Burger, Peter. Carolina rail {Porzana carolinensis); from Virginia. 

Burke, Henry E. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Bumes, B. J. Specimen of samarskite ; from Alabama. 

Bums, Thomas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Bullock, Theron. Copper nodule ; from Wisconsin. 

Butler, Isaac. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Cadle, C. Indian pix)e of micaceous sandstone ; from the east shore of 
Mobile Bay, Alabama. 

Calderwood, Capt. M. W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Cambridge, Mass., Botanic Garden of Harvard University, C. 8. Sargent, 
Director. Seeds and plants of aquatic plants (iTj^ntpAc^a tuberosa, 
Rumex hydrolapatum, &c.). 

Digitized by 



Cambridge^ Mdss.^ Museum of Comparative Zoology. Box of birds' skins, 
box of alcoholic si>ecimeDS of general natural history, and specimen 
of menhaden {Brevoortia aurea). 

Campbellj J. B. Specimens of reptiles, turtles, and batrachians ; from 

CampbeUj Kent. Nest and eggs of wood pewee {Contopus virens) ; from 

Capehart, Dr. W. R. Specimens of shad and herring ; from Avoca,N. C. 

Caprorij John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Capron, Oeneral Horace. Two dressed figures representing the noble 
class of Japan. (Purchased.) 

Chappell & Siorer (through E. O. Blackford). Large number of Trachu- 
rops crumenophthalmus. 

CarUenj Arnold. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Carrittj William. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Carrolly Capt. Daniel. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

CasCj Tliomas 8. Specimen oiLota mamlosa; from IViissouri. 

Cavenerj Nicholas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Chester, H. C. Jar of fishes, from the Potomac River ; model of cod- 
fish hatching apparatus. 

Chicago Academy of Science. Collection of shells; from Florida. 

ChildSj Edward B. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Churchillj B. C. Malformed robin (Turdus migratorius) ; from New- 

Clark, Benjamin. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Clarky Frank N. Water-snake ; ftt)m Spesutia Island, Maryland. 

Clarkj Samuel C. " Mule-killer" {Thelyplionus giganiens), from Florida; 
aiTOW-heads and fragmentary pottery, from Georgia, 

Clarke, Prof. F. L. Box of ethnological and natural-history specimens; 
from Hawaii. 

Clarke, J. JET. Box of fossils (fishes, &c.) ; from Connecticut. 

Clarke, Dr. W. M. Mica arrow-head and shell; fix)m mound in Ten- 

Clinton, Capt. Oeerge T. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Coast Wrecking Company, Xew York {through W. B. T. Jones). Speci- 
men of marble bored by sponge (Cliona); taken from the wreck of 
the steamer Grecian off Long Island. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


(7o%, Charles. (See Wasliington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

ColSj J. R. Iron pyrites ; from Texas. 

CoUinSj Capt. Joseph W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

CoUim^ William. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Con^Um^ J. W. Larvae of Helophilas anax; from North Carolina. 

Canley, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Conrad J L, Specimen of mineral ; fix)m Ohio. 

Cookj Caleb, , Two bottles of fish-oil. 

Coohf D. 8, Stone sinker and axe; from Pennsylvania. 

Cooper^ William A. Skin of Ptychorluimphus aleuticus; from Santa 
Cruz, Cal. 

CopCj Prof. K 2>. Two living lizards {Crotaphytns collaria) j from Texas. 

Coster, John. Small stone axe ; from Wisconsin. 

Cra/icfordj General 8. W. Box of geological specimens and birds ; from 

Cressy, Charles C. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Chittenden, A. B. Three boxes of Indian relics ; from the New England 

CrooJce, John J., New TorJc, JT. T. Twenty-five pounds of pure tin. 

Cunningham & Thompson. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Curie, Dr. T. J. Hair-worm {Qordius)\ from Kentucky. 

Curtis, Captain. (See Washington, D. C.j United States Fish Commis- 

Cushing, Frank JET. Collections of rude potstone vessels, from Virginia 
and District of Columbia ; living reptiles, from Virginia. 

Cuvier Club, Cincinnati, Ohio. Collection of bird-skins, fix)m Indiana, 
Ohio, and Florida. 

DaU, W. H. Four specimens illustrative of the economic application of 
shells ; two marine shells from Japan ; two land shells from Germany. 

Dalrymple, Br. Specimens of Indian pottery ; from Maryland. 

Danforth, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Davis, Mrs. Abby L. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Davis, Capt. Alfred B., U. 8. B. M. Specimen of coral ; from the Drj 
Tortugas, Florida. 

Davis, Henry. Samples of soil and wood; from McGregor, Indiana. 

Davis, Joshua. Indian chunky-stone; from District of Columbia. 

Davis, L. Specimen of iron ore ; from Missouri. 

Davis, M. C. Specimen of iron ore ; from Harper^s Ferry. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


DaviSj Mrs. Mary E> (See Washington, D, C, United States Fish Com- 

Day^ Thomas^ Keeper of Seguin Idghtj Maine. Three fish-hooks. 

De Hart J J. N. Box of Indian bones and relies; from moond in Illi- 

Dempsey^ Capt. WiUiam. (See Washingtoni D. C, United States Fish 

Dennis J Oeorge-B. Box of sea- weed and Trichiurus Upturus; from Mary- 

Dentonj Slielley W. Eggs of burrowing owl j from Fort Collins, Colo- 

Devan^ James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Devoej Capt Luke. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Dexter y Newton. Eggs of Phceton favioauda; from Bermuda. 

Dixonj Eugene F. (See Washington, D. C, Uiiited States Fish Com- 

Dixon, Capt. Geo. W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Doranj Thomas 8. Specimens of turtles and fish ; from Montgomery, 

Douglas J W. T. Insect; from Catlett's, Va. 

Douglass, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Douglass, Robert, 2d. (See Washington, P. C, Unit#d States Fish Com- 

Driggs, John W. Collection of birds' skius; from Florida. 

DriscoU, Daniel (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 
sion.) , 

Duffield, U. 8. O. Malformed eggs of common hen. 

Dugis, Dr. Don Alfredo. Box of natural history specimens ; from Guana- 
juato, Mexico. 

Dulaney, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Duncan, Capt J. F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Earle, T. L. Small box of minerals ; from North Carolina. 

Edwards, Yinal JT. Eleven boxes of fishes collected in Vineyard Sound, 

Eggert, H. Four living turtles; from Missouri. 

Ellis, Albert N. Si>ecimen8 of snakes ; from Florida. 

Ellis, J. B. .Collection of North American fungi. 

Espersen, Henry, Surveyor- General of Dakota. Two packages of minerals ; 
from Dakota. 

Etzel, C. Stone axe; from Wisconsin. 

"Digitized by VjOOQIC 


EvamSy Samuel B. Four stone implements^ from lofra; casts of stone 
axe and pipe from Kansas. 

Evans^ W. W. A large collection of pottery, silver and copper idols, 
bronze implement, and ^gg of emu; fr^m Peru. Also, 27 slieets of 
photographs of Peruvian antiquities. 

Ferguson^ Mr. {through 0. C. Treadtcay). Specimens of minerals; from 
Big Sionx Biver, Iowa. 

Finschj Dr. Otto. Twelve species of Siberian fishes. 

Firthj William A. Three samples of diatomaceous earths; from Ireland. 

Flanagan^ A. JET. Collection of stone implements and pottery, and human 
and animal bones; from a mound in Virginia. , 

Flint, Dr. Earl. Two boxes of fossils and alcoholic specimens; two 
boxes ethnological specimens ; from Nicaragua. 

Floyd, Joseph D. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Fox, F. N. {through Eei^. J. J. McCooJc). Bough stone axehead, frag- 
ment of celt, and fragment of pottery ; from Niantic, Conn. 

Foster, Mrs. Aimer. Box of stone implements ; from Illinois. 

Frtmeey Museum of Natural History. Collection of fishes from the Medi- 
terranean Sea and rivers of France. 

Frazer, Charles. Pottery figure; from Botica, Puerto Plata. 

French, 8. Levin. Four boxes of "American sardines.'' 

Friend, Sidney. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Oaffney, William M. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 
mission.) t 

Gaines, A. S., and K. M. Cunningham. Terra-cotta mask; from vicinity 
of Mobile, Ala. 

Oatbraith, F. O. Four boxes of stone implements, collection of alcoholic 
fishes, insects, &c., and a small living alligator; from Eastern Penn- 

Ocrret, W. M. Pottery fragments, spear-head, and quartz crystal ; from 

Oates, D. C. {through Rev. J. J. MoCooh). Stone chisel ; from Niantic, 

Oaischet, A. 8. Samples of the food of the Klamath Indians of Oregon. 

Oere, J. E. Collection of copper knives, spear and arrow heads, masses 
of native copper and flint arrow-heads, stone axes, &c.; from Wiscon- 

Germany, Berlin Museum^ Dr. E. von Martin. Nine species of shells. 

Oerrard, Edward, Jr. Sixteen mounted specimens of English quail, 
woodcock, and snipe. (Purchased.) • 

Oessner, William. Collection of Indian arrow-heads, &c. ; from Ala- 
bama, f 

QetebeU, Capt. John Q. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


OibbSj George J. Collection of ethnologica; from Grand Turk, West 

OibbSy J. D. Three malformed feet of pig. 

Gilbertj Rev. C. A. Collection of shells, insects, fossils, &c. 5 from Florida* 

Ginnevany Thomas^ and Philip Merchant. (See Washington, D. C, United 
States Commission.) 

GitlienSj W. U. Box of shells and casts of Indian relics ; from Illinois. 

Godding^ Br. W. W. Specimen in flesh of bear ( Ursus afnericanus). 

Goffj George P. *^ Sea-dollar" ; from Galveston, Tex. 

Gooddj F. C. Collection of living snakes; from Florida. 

Goode^ G. Brown, Tank of alcoholic fishes and three boxes livingsnakes 
and turtles, from Florida ; box of fishes, corals, &e., from Charleston, 
S. C. ; three cans alcoholic fijshes, from Bermuda. Also, fresh speci- 
mens of shad, from the St. John's Eiver, Florida. 

Goodrich^ Wilbur F. Specimens of fungi ; from Massachusetts. 

Goodwin^ Thomas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

GorCj H. Specimen of ore ; from Pennsylvania. 

Gorton^ Slade & Co. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Gosliny Capt Joseph. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Gossj JT. 8. Skin of Parus atricapillus ; from Wisconsin. 

Gourvillej Capt. John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

GreeUy F. C. Box of stone implements and collecti(Jn of minerals; from 

Green^ Dr. Samuel A. Cast of Indian pot found at Canterbury, X. H. 

Greenleaf, Capt. William H. (See Washington, D. C, United States 
Fish Commission.) 

Griffith^ William. Two roe-shad ; from the Ohio Eiver. 

GrUberj Ferdinand. Two living turtles {Chelopus marmoratus)'^ from 

Gunnanj Miss Bessie 0. Scale of tarpum {Megalops thrissoides) ; frt)m 
near Norfolk, Va. 

Hallock, Charles. Specimen of Coregonus quadrilateralis / from Michigan. 

Hamleny Capt. Peter. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Eardenburghj A. B.j United States Surveyor-General^ California. Collec- 
tion of the ores of various mines in California. 

RarkeTj 0. H. Collection of minerals ; from Colorado. 

Harris^ B. S. Specimen of itacolumite ; from North Carolina. 

Hartsfieldj John M. Skink snake, from North Carolina ; and eggs of 
white-eyed flycatcher, from Delaware. 

Harvey^ Edward. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Harvey y Rev. M. Alcoliolic specimens of capelin ; from NewfoundlancL 

HasJcellj Samuel (See Wasliington, D, 0., United States Fish Commis- 

Hashinj 8. D. Flint arrow-head ; from Tennessee. 

HawJcifiSj Capt. James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Hatckinsj Capt. Z. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Eavneusj , Stockholm^ Sweden. Series of mannfactured fire-bricks. 

Haywardj F. W. Box of rice plants, tank of alcoholic fishes, reptilies, 
&c, living specimens of mud-puppy {Siren lacertina)^ and living snap- 
ping-tortles ; from South Carolina. 

Haywood^ W. P. Two red ants ; fix)m Kew Jersey. 

Helper^ H. B. {through George Hillier). Saw of sawfish {Pristis anti- 

Hemphilly Henry. Collection of land and fresh-water shells, from Utah ; 
collection of shells and fossils, from California. 

Hempsteadj Elias. Box of ethnological specimens ) from Santa Bosa 
Island, Florida. 

Henderson J Judge J. O. Box of ethnological specimens; from Illinois. 

Henderson^ Mr. {through Dr. H, B. 'Noble). Slate carving; from the 
l^orthwest coast of America. 

Hendricks, Lindsley. Mineral; from Texas. 

Henshawj p. W. Living turtle {Cistudo dausa eUmsa) and nest and 
eggs of Seiurus aurocapillus and Turdusmustelinus; from Washington, 
D. C. 

Heringj Dr. 0. J. Collection of alcoholic mammals, reptiles, insects, 
&C. ; from Surinam. 

Herring, Bichard. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Hesselj Budolph. Two specimens of snake {Tropidonottts sipedon) ; from 
Baltimore, Md. ; and one of Hyla arborea, from Germany. 

Hewittj Isaac L. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

HigbiCy A. JB., dk Co. Specimen of Tetrodon Iwvigaius; from off Cape 

Higgins & Oifford. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

HUlieTj Fred. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Hirstj F. Specimens of amblystoma and larvae and fishes {Potamocottus), 
from Utah; and fishes {Patamooottus, Catostomus), from Wyoming. 

Hitcheoclcj Prof. E. Casts of Indian vessels. 

HitchoocJcj Oeorge N. Specimens of living turtles ; from California. 

Hitty Dr. D. F. Box of fossil plants ; from Illinois. 

Hodgdanj Capt. T. F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


SodgJcinSj Edward W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Holbrooke W. C. Flint airow-head, stalagmite, fossil shell and bone of 
hnman foot; from Illinois. 

Mollenbushy JBT. W. Box of minerals ; from Pennsylvania. 

Eomam^ Capt Charles A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

fforanj Henry. Turtle {Chelopus guttatus)] from Washington D. C. 

Horodj C. H. Two fossil teeth of horse. 

Houghy Dr. F. B. Cast of tusk of fossil elephant^ found near Copen- 
hagen, N. Y. 

JBToy, Oeo. W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Hoy J B. B. Snake (Coluber) and turtles (Chrysemys)) from Michigan. 

HubregtsCj A. Three arrow-heads. 

HtLdsony J. M. Pharyngeal teeth of sheeps-head. 

Hughesj W. JV. Specimen of fossil coral ; from Tennessee. 

Eunt, Henry C. Four articles of native dress ; from Pern and Bolivia. 

Hunty Capt. H. W. Samples of cordage and duck manufiactured by the 
Eussian Government. 

Surlberty Capt. B. H. (See Washington, D. C, United States Pidi 

Hu88j Oscar E. Specimens of woods, teas, and ethnologica; from Uru- 
guay, Paraguay, Chile, and Argentine Bepublic. 

Hutchinson^ Dr. Edwin. Four small terra-cotta masks } from near San 
Juan de Teotibnacan, Mexico. 

Illinois State Laboratory. Living turtle. 

India, Kurrachee Municipal Library and Mmeum, James A. Murray, 
Curator. Collection of skins, heads and skulls of East Indian mam- 

Ingersollj T. Dwight. Specimens of shells ; from Lake Erie. 

IrUm, Dr. I. L. Spear-head and skull of alligator; from Texas. 

Irwin, Alexander H. Sample of polished fossiliferous stone. 

Jackson, Dr. E. E. Specimens of turtles, salamanders, and fishes; from 
South Carolina. • 

James, Dr. Frank L. Collection of pottery and stone implements ; from 

Jameson, John 8. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Jefferson, Lieut. J. P^ U. S. A. Specimen ofAulostoma colorata; from 
the Dry Tortugas, Florida. 

Jellow, John H. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Jenison, O. A. Collection of stone axes, knives, fleshers, &c; from 

Jenks, J. W. P. Lot of stone hammers found in old steatite quarry near 
Providence, E. L 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


JenncTy David. Copper spear-bead ; from Wisconsin. 

Jewettj Thomas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish GomiDis- 

Johnson^ Capt. George A. (See Washington, D. 0^ United States Fish 

Jokmonj Capt Peter. (See Washington, D. C, Ubited States Fish Com- 

Johnson^ Mr. {throngh J. E. Oere). Copper nodule; from Wisconsin. 

Kaucliety William. Samples of fire-clay; from Wisconsin. 

Kearney^ William. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Keep J Josiah. Package of diatomaeeons earth, fnmi Massadiosetts ; 
alcoholic specimens of Cerithidea sacrataj from Lake Merritt, Cali- 

Keithlegj Mrs. E. {through Bev. F. B. Scheetz). Large stone celt ; from 

Keller J John. Stone axe ; from Missouri. 

Kervepy R. F. Specimens of skins, nests, and eggs of birds, mammals, 
minerals, and Indian relics; from Maryland and Pennsylvania. 

KilpatricJcj Capt. Briggs. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

King^ James. Three malformed eggs of domestic hen. 

King^ LarJcin. Mineral ; from Texas. 

King, W. A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Kin^s Mountain Mine^ North Carolina^ Harney Bechwithy President. Ma- 
chin^y used in extracting gold at, and a series of the ores of, the 
King's Mountain Mine. 

Kippeny John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

KlctZy H. E. Living iguana; from Navassa, W. L 

Knowlesj Mr. Dried sound of hake. 

KocheTy J. F. Three foetal flying squirrels {Pteromys volucella) ; from 

KoUmanny Br. Collection of crania of the natives of Hungary, Austria, 
and Bavaria. 

Kumlieny Ludwig. Skin, nest, and eggs of Zonotrichia coronata; from 
Shasta, California. Also 24 boxes of general natural history and eth- 
nological collections ; fix)m Cumberland Island and Greenland. 

Ldkey C. Wf Block of black-ash ; from Michigan. 

Ldkemany J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Zamsony J. &, c6 Brother. Arrow-head and earth ; from ancient grave 
in Chiriqui, Central America. 

Langdony Frank W. Collection of birds' skins and ethnological speci- 
mens ; from Ohio. 

Ijorkiny John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Pish Commis- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Lanermanny Peter. Collection of flint arrow -heads, copper knife, two 
darts, and nodule ; from Wisconsin. 

Lawrence^ J. J. Insect ; from Beresford, Florida. 

Lawsonj James. Specimen of asbestos ] from Alabama. 

JUAceCj M. 8. Specimen of calc-spar; from Texas. 

Le BlanCy Simon. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Leonard^ Willidm. Specimen of ore; from Pennsylvania. 

Leslie^ C. C. Many fresh specimens of fish from Charleston, S. C, mar- 

Lettermann^ George W. Shell of periwinkle. 

Lewis J Jamea. Two boxes of living snails {Vivipara oontectoides) ; from 
Mohawk, N. Y. 

LewiSj W. JET. Cast of canoe-shaped object, from Seneca Lake, New 
York ; and box of minerals, from Westchester Connty, New York. 

Lieberj H. Quartz pebble with adherent mica. 

Lloydj J. 2>. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

LockCj W. M. Two boxes of stone implements ; from Ohio and Western 
New York. 

Lovettj Br. A. A. Specimen of petrified coral ; from Indiana. 

Zowj Maj. D. W.J Postmaster J Oloucesterj Mass. Collection of fossilifer- 
our rocks ; from George's Banks. 

LowCj Francis A. Specimens of copper and silver ores and amethyst; 
from the nortii shore of Lake Superior. 

Lundberffj John A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Lyttej A. E. Thirty-two specimens of cisco {Argyrosomus) ; from Gteneva 
Lake, Wisconsin. 

McBridCj Sara J. Twelve samples of artificial tront'-fiies. 

McCleUandy Br. M. A. Collection of stone implements; from Illinois. 

McCollumy George. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McCooJcj Rev. J. J. Two human crania and box of Indian relics; from 
Niantic, Conn. 

McCormickj E. G. Stone image (head) ; from Missouri. 

McCowny General J. P. Box of ethnological and natural history speci- 
mens; from Arkansas. 

McBonaldj Buncan. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McBonaldj James and John B. (See Washington, D. C, United States 
Fish Commission.) 

McBonaldj Capt. Jerome. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

McBonaldy Marshall. Specimen of Dufrfenite ; from Virginia. 

McBonaldj Capt Matthew. (See Washington, D, C, United States Fish 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


McDonald^ Miles. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

McBonuldj Capt William. (See Washington, D. 0., United States Fish 

McEachem^ Daniel. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McElderryj Dr. Henry y U. 8. A. Package of marine diatoms ; from Fort 
Monroe, Va, 

McEntirey Daniel. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

MeOinnis^ Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McOuirej J. C. Lot of fragmentary steatite vessels ; from Grimes Place, 

McOnirej J. D. Three polished-stone arrow-heads ; from Howard County, 

McInniSj L. L. Chrysalis of moth ; from Texas. 

McKinleyj William. Stone tube ; from Georgia. 

McKinnonj Capt D. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McKinnonj Capt JoJm. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Mclfeillj J. A. (through J. S. Zamson & Co.). Nest and eggs of tinamoo ; 
from Chiriqui, U. S. of Colombia. 

McPheCj Capt. If. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

McQuinny Michael. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McQuinny Edward. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Maddeny Henry F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Maggs^ P. F. Moth ; from Indiana. 

ifansfieldy JameSy & Sons. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Martiny Capt George H. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Martiny 8. J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Marshally Henry. Living snake (Heterodon) ; from Maryland. 

Masony Prof. 0. T. Nest of meadow-lark (8tumeUa magna). 

Masony Peter. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Masony Hon. Roswell H.y U. 8. Surveyor-Oeneraly Montana. A large col- 
lection of minerals from various mines in Montana. 

Mastersony Tliomas. Glass and shell beads and fragments of Indian pipes ; 
from Western Pennsylvania. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


MatheTy Fred. Two crastaoeans. 

Mattesortj F, 8. Bat ( Veapertilio pruinosm) ; from Oregon. 

Matthews^ Dr. Edward^ U. 8. N. Jar of fishes, reptiles, and inverte- 
brates ; from Santo Domingo. 

Mauler y Eugene. Samples of diatomaceoos earths ; from Italy, Jutland, 
and Bohemia. 

MaWy Richard {tiirough Anderson Merchant & Co.^ New York). CJoUeo- 
tion of tiles, pottery, and majolica, exhibited at the Permanent Exhibi- 
tion, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Meeky James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

MeigSj General M. C, U. 8. A. Indian pipe of catlinite. 

MenezeTy Joseph. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish GcHnmis- 

Mercery B. W. Collection of stone axes, arrow-heads, &c.; from 

Merchanty George J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Merchanty Philyf. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Merrilly Dr. J. C, U. 8. A. Box of mamtmal and bird skins ; from 

Mexiooy National Museum o/, G. Mendoza^ Director. A valuable collection 
of ancient Mexican pottery and stone relics. 

Middtetouy Carman dk Co.y New York. Two shad {Ahsa sapidissima). 

MiddletowHy Conn.y Museum of Wesleyan College. A collection of fishes 
from Bermuda and one of reptiles from the 'New England States. 

Miller y J. D. Battlesnake {Crotalus) j from New York. 

MiUer^ Thomas I. Specimen of iron ore j from West Virginia. 

Milnery J. W. Shells ( Viripara georgiana), from Lake Monroe, Florida ; 
salmon {8almo sala/r)y from Chesax)eake Bay, Maryland ; box of living 
salamanders {Plethodon glutinosus)y from Albemarle Sound, l^orth Car- 

Mitchelly B. Specimens of ethnologica ; from Illinois. 

Mitchelly G. M. Specimen of "Quillback'^ {Carpiodes &j^.) ; from Illi- 

Mitchelly Mr. {through Ron. George Williamsony United 8tates Minister to 
Central America). FoBtal shovel-nosed shark from Acajutla, Sal- 

MobiuSy Prof. Karl. Collection of mollusca ; from Germany, 

Mohry C. Box of ethnological specimens ; from Alabama. 

Moody y H. A. Specimen of kaolin ; from Mississippi. 

Moorcy Mr. H. C. (See Washington, D. Q , United States Fish Commis- 

Moore. (See Porter, Dr. J. T., U. S. A.) 

MorriSy A. P., Jr. Skull of possum {JHdelphys virginianus.) 

Digitized by V^OOQIC 


Morris^ Edward 8., & Co. Package of seeds of Liberian coffee plant. 

Morriseyj Capt Daniel C. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Morriseyj James 2>. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Morrison, Capt B. N. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Morse, Prof. E. 8. Collection of ethnologica, fishes and two rodents ; 
from Japan. 

Mors/elder, Oeorge. Copper spear-head ; from Wisconsin. 

Mortimer, Capt. J. JET. Collection of dried marine animals ; from the 
equatorial Pacific 

Motaia Iron and Steel Manufacturing Company, Sweden. Collection of 
manofactored steel and iron, being their exhibit at the International 
Exhibition, 1876, at Philadelphia, Pa. 

Munroe, Prof. Charles, E,, U. S. N. Box of eocene tertiary fossils ; from 
Soath Eiver, Md. 

Murphy, J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Murphy, Michael J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com* 

Murphy, Capt Nicholas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Murray, David. Living turtle; from EUaville, Fla. 

Mynster, William A. Two salmon; from Iowa. 

Nelson, E. W., Signal Service, U. 8. A. Nineteen boxes of general nat« 
oral history and ethnological specimens; from Saint Michaels, Alaska. 

Nevins, Rev. R. D. Upper jaw of Hypsifario Kennerlyi ; from Oregon. 

New Jersey, College of Princeton, N. J. Plaster casts of stone imple- 

New Zealand, Auckland Museum, T. F. Cheesema/n, Curator. Twenty-one 
crania of the Maori. 

Newberry, Dr. J. 8. Si)ecimens of silicified wood; from California and- 
Antigua, W. L 

Newlon, W. 8. Specunens of Productuspunctatus] from Kansas. 

Newman, William P. Bone of turtle ; from mound in Alabama. 

Nesbit, John. Specimen of phosphatic rock ; from Georgia. 

Noble, Dr. H. B. Carved duck-shaped stone ; from l^orthwest coast. 

Nohm, Joseph. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Norris, J. E. Specimen of ore from the Gila mine, Nevada. • 

Norris, P. W., Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. CoUectioiu 
of minerals, pottery, and stone implements. 

Norton, Dr. {through Rev. F. B. Scheetz). Specimens of aborigmal stone 
implements; from Missouri. 

Norway, W. H. Specimens of invertebrate fossils; from Califomia. 
S. Mis. 59 7 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


NoUj W. R. {through Rev. F. JB. Scheetz). Perforated tablet; from Mis- 

Nye^ Willardjjr. Specimens of Oasterosteu^biaculeatua ; firomlfewBed- 
fordy Mass* 

ObeTj F. A, Seven boxes of general natural history and ethnological 
specimens ; from various islands of the West Indies. 

Olmsted, E. B. Box of stone implements ; from Illinois. 

OlseUy Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Ormej WiUiam d Sons. Large living spider. 

Osbomej L. C. Two oval homstone disks ; from Illinois. 

Osgood, F. Storey. Two specimens of mineral } fi-om Massachusetts. 

Otis, Dr. OeorgeA. Two living iguanas; from Navassa, West Indies. 

Palmer, Joseph. Mounted head of Virginia deer and spedmen of snake 
{Ophibolus doliatus) ; from Virginia. 

Palmer, William. Living snake (IVop»rfonofw« sipedon); from Virginia. 

Parsons, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Parsons, WiUiam. (See Washingtcm, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Peacock, J. S. Jaw of shark (EvlcBmia MiJberU.) 

Pearce, F. A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Pease, A. P. L. Stone mortar; from Ohio. 

Pease, W. B. Insect; from New Mexico. 

Peel, J. R. Specimen of mineral; from Texas. 

Pendleton, A. O., Deputy Surveyor, Arizona. Specimens of gold, silver, 
and copper ores; from Arizona. 

Pensacola Ice Company, Florida. Many fresh specimens of fish taken in 
the vicinity of Pensacola, Fla. 

Pergande, Theodore. Stone axe; from Missouri. 

Peterson, Martin, and Dennis Thelewmg. (See Washington, D. C, United 
States Fish Commission.) 

Peterson, M. R. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Pettibone, WiUiam. Taylor-shad (Ikirysoma cepedianum) ; from the Poto- 
mac Biver. 

PettingiU & Cunningham. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Pfeil, John. Two fossils and two copper spear-heads; from Wisconsin. 

Philadelphia, Zoological Society of, A. E. Broum, Superintendent. Speci- 
men in flesh of Barbary Wild Sheep {Ovis tragelaphus.) 

Phillips, D. A. Box of remains from Indian tumuli in Pennsylvania. 

Phillips, J. P. Specimens of smelt; from Hancock County, Maine. 

Pengry, John T. Tarpum {Megahps thrissoides)^ from Long Branch, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Poey^ Prof. Felipe. CJolleetion of turties and fishes stuffed and dried f 
from Cuba. 

PoUerij Alfred. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

PcrteTy H. H. Specimens of artiflci^^j raised h^ke-, brook-^ and sahnon- 

Porter^ Dr. J. T., U. 8. A.j €tnd Mr. Moorey Keeper of Loggerhead Idghty 
Florida. Collection of fishes; from tiie Dry Tortagas, Florida. 

Pottery Thofnaa. Specimens of clay from 60 faithoms deep in Long Island 

Powely Hon. Samuel. Collection of marine fishes; from Newpori;, E. I. 

Pr&iton, D. A. Box of lead and zinc ores; from Joplin, Mo. 

Princeton^ N. J"., College of New Jersey. Casts of stone implements* 

Pringlej O. M. Specimens of mineral; from Oregon. 

Purmar^ D. Gray. Specimens of lead and zinc ores. 

Putnam^ Thomas J. Two "fool-fish" {Plewronectes glaber)^ from Salem, 

Queensland AecUmatieation Society^ Australiaj Lewis A. BemaySy Vice- 
President. Sponge gemmules from river in Western Australia. 

Quinlianj J. W. Teeth of fossil elephant, hareey and shark; from Bull 
Eiver, South Carolina. 

Badcliffey William H. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

BandUy Prof. E. H. Box of stone relics and minerals; from Kentucky. 

BaUj Charles. Cast of ceremonial spear-head, from Saint Clair County, 
Illinois ; and bat ( Vespertilio)j from Washington, D. C. 

Beedj M. C. Specimen of shell conglomerate; from Ohio. 

Reedy Thomas. Living iguana ; from !N^avassa, West Indies. 

Beidy A. J. Specimens of fish {Notemigonus chrysoleucns) ; from the Fox 
Eiver, Wisconsin. 

Reynold^j A. M. Specimens of minerals. 

Reynolds, Elmer B. Two boxes of fossils, fragmentary pottery, and 
arrow-heads; from Virginia. 

Reynolds, J. H. Collection of stone relics and pottery ; from West Vir- 

Rhodes J B. V. Large bug; from Indiana. 

Richy Capt. A. F.y Boston, Mass. (See Washington, D. C, United States 
Fish Commission.) 

Richmond, A. O. Cast of Indian stone ornament. 

Ridgwapy Robert. Four boxes of general natural-history si>ecimen8; 
principally from Illinois. 

Riley, WiUiam. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Roach, David. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Rohbins, Elisha. String of cells of periwinkle. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


BobertSj N. E. Four living turtles (Gistudo) 5 from Fairfax County, 

Boeasler^ A. B. Specimens of jasper ; from North Carolina. 

RogerSj . Samples of various kinds of fish-glue. 

Bomigy Bev. B. Two boxes of shells, fossils, and woods ; from Antigua, 
West Indies. 

BoneXj W. J. Tail of milk-snake {Coluber eximius). 

Boopj 0. Five small arrow-heads^ from Oregon. 

Bo88jA. 0. Three boxes of Indian stone relics^ fit>m Ohio. 

BosscTj B. B. {through Bev. F. B. Scheetz). Part of flint ceremonial im- 
plement; from Missouri. 

Boicej George T. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bowe, Capt. John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Botcej Timothy 8. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bustj Miss Garrie A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bust^ E. N. Cast of Franklin on Ring cent of the United States, 1787, 

Busty John B. Double-headed lamb. 

Bussia. Herbarium of Botanic (Jardens^ 8t. Petersburg^ G. J. MaanmotcieZy 
Director. Over two hundred species of Japanese plants. 

ButhyDr. M. X., U. 8. N. Collection of alcoholic reptiles and fishes; 
from the Madeira Biver, Brazil. 

SaUj C. J. Beetle ; from Virginia. 

SammiSy Gol. J. 8. Specimen of living snake {Abastor erythrogrammus) ; 
from Florida. 

Sandvik Iron and 8teel WorJcSy 8weden. Collection of manufactured iron 
and steel, being their exhibit at the International Exhibition, 187G, at 

Sanfordy H. 0. Fossiliferous boulder; from George's Banks. 

Sargenty 8enator A. A. Box of fossils ; from California. 

Saundersy Howard. Five skins of gulls and terns; from Europe. 

Savage, Joseph. Box of invertebrate fossils ; from Kansas. 

SayJcTy Marcus. Collection of Indian stone implements; from Ohio and 

Saywardy E. P.yjr. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

SchannOy Joseph. ' Sample of fir-sugar ; from Washington Territory. 

Schnecky Br. J. A large collection of living turtles and terrapins, and 
a box of water-plants ; from Illinois. 

Scotty George W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Scuphamy J. B. Small reptile ; fix>m Eem County, California. 

SeUsy P. B. Box of stone implements and pottery; from Georgia. 

Digitized by ^OOQIC 


Satmettj Oearge B, A collection of bird-skins ; from Fort Brown, Texas. 

ServisSj E. F. Box of ethnological specimens; from Kansas. 

Shelby^ B. Parasphenoid bone of alligator-gar. 

S3kemeliUj Joseph P. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Skemelinj James C. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com* 

ShmdleTy A. Z.y and Oearge H. Boekmer. Large stone axe; from Yir* 

Sibley, JJ. F. Specimens of stone implements ; from IllinoLS. 

SUva-TerrOj Anton. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

SinumSj Capt. A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Simgletonj John. Copper chisel ; from Illinois. 

Small, George. Spedmeus of alewives ; from Bucksport, Me. 

Small, E. E. Specimen of "spinous shark'' (Echinorhinvs spinosus); 
from Provincetown, Mass. 

Smith & Oakes. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Smith, Douglas B. Specimens of shells and beads; from Evanston, lU. 

Smith, Jacob. Skin of Wilson's phalarope {Plialaropus vrUsonii) ; from 

Smith, James A. Series of manufactured clay tobacco-pipes. 

Smith, Prof. H. L. Four alewives {Pomolobus vemalis) ; from Geneva, 

Smith, John L. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Smitih and Oakes. Specimen of yellow cod {Oadus m4ynrhua); from 
Gloucester, Mass. 

Snyder, T. W. Five invertebrate fossils ; from Illinois. 

Sorensen, John P. Specimen of ore; from Utah. 

Somthwick, J. M. K. Two samples of codfish-hooks. 

Sautter, August. Case of mounted birds and photographs. 

Spalding, B. M. (through Bev. F. B. Sclieetz). Two stone axes ; from 

Sperry, Mrs. James L. Eight skins of California birds. 

Spurr, Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Stabler, J. P. Specimens of living snakes ; from Maryland. 

StansJce, Charles. Copper nodule and stone axe; from Wisconsin. 

Staples, Edmn B. Two boxes Indian relics, one box turtles (Pseudemys 
mobiUensis), luid shell mouth-peg; from Florida. 

Steams, Silas. Ten boxes of specimens of fish and shell, including type 
of new fish, CauMatilus miorqps Otoode & Bean ; from Florida. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Steele^ W.lf. Living snake {OphibQlus doUatwi Aoliatiis)*^ from Mary- 

StevenSj James A. Collection of shells; from Summit County, Ohio. 

Stewarty W. E. Five shad {Alosa 8apidissma)'j specimen of Ehps sau- 
rus; from the Potomac Eiver. 

Stoney LMngitan. Large collection of alccAolic fishes, from the McOloud 
Elver, California; also, one box fossils, from Califomia. 

Story J L. 2>. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Oommissi<m.) 

Stouty W. C. Branchial apparatus of Lepidosteus. 

Studleyy Udwin. Grooved stone axe ; ft>om Wisconsin. 

Sumner J M. T.jjr. Sections of oak showing old surveyor's marks. 

Sutherlandj John. Specimen of land-locked salmon {Salmo Mc^or, var. 
8ebago)'j from the Merrimac Biver. 

Swany James 0. Collection of fishes, in alcohol; and specimens of bone 
implements used by the Haidah Indians ; from Washing^n Territory. 

Sweden. Academy of SoienceSy Stockholm. Ten species of shells ; from 
Nova Zembla. 

Sweeney y Frank. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Sweety Capt William E. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Symm^y Bee. Francis M. Box of ethnological specimens ; from Orange 
County, Indiana. 

Tarry Capt. James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Tarry James 0. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

TatJiam & Co., Ne^c York. Bag of " dust ^ shot. 

Taylor y Ben. Hora4ie J. CoUecticHi of shells, beetles, and ethnological 
specimens ; from the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. 

Thompsony Capt. WiUiam. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Thompsony W. R. Mass of quartz crystals; frtmi TyeBiver, Virginia. 

Thomsony J. E. Crab taken from hold of the bark Osprey, New Bed- 
ford, Mass. 

ThorpCy Beo. Tliomas M. Wing and bill of woodpecker and four hickory- 
nuts ; from Arkansas. 

Tobeyy Oerard C. SquMa^ from Buzzard's Bay, Bhode Island. 

ToellneTy A. Fragments of human skull and pottery ; from mound in 

TowerSy David. Living slug; from Washington, D. C. 

Townevy Wayne. Gypsum ; from Pennsylvania. 

Tresitiany Thomas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

TriecCy W. O. Specimens of snake and turtle ; from Pennsylvania. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Turner J C. W. S. Four arrow-heads ; firom Virginia. 

Turner J L. M. Turtle (Malacocleinmys peudo-geographicus)] from South- 

em Illinois. 
Turner^ Mrs. M. H. Three boxes of living turtles ; from Southern Illi- 
Turkey. Robert OoUegej Constantinople. Collection of bird-skins. 
Van IhfcJcj W. T. Three boxes of general natural-history collections ; 

from Syria, 
Van HooJcj J. C. Snake {Colvher obsoletus obsoletus)} from Virginia. 
Vancej James A. Mineral ; from Arkansas. 
Veliej Dr. J. W. Collection birds' eggs and shells, from Florida; cast 

of stone axe, two living turtles and living snake, from Illinois. 
Voss^ A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 
Wade^ Joseph M. Pectoral of flying-fish, taken in tiie South Padfic Ocean. 
Walker^ Dr. R. L. Four living hcil-benders (Menopoma dlleghamensis) ; 

from Western Pennsylvania. 
WaUacey James B. Insect ; from Texas. 
Wallace^ John. Two Australian parrakeets. 
WaUiSy Dr. O. B. Specimens of fossils and copper ore. 
Wottofi, W. B. Oyster with double shell 
Washington^ D. C. : 
Department of BtatOy U. 8. A. (See under usaae of Son. G. A. WilU 

iamsonj United States minister to Guatemala.) 
Treasury Department^ XT. 8. A. : 

United 8tates Revenue-Marine. (See under name of Capt. Alfred B. 

United 8tates Coast 8urvey. (See under name of W. H. Doll.) 
War Department^ U. 8. A. : 
United States Army. (See under names of General M. C. MeigSj Col 
A. O. Brackettj Lieut. Oeorge M. Wheeler, and Lieut. J. P. Jef- 
8urgeonr0eneraPs Office, United States Army Medical Museum {Dr. 
O. A. OtiSy in charge.) A collection of bird and mammal skins, 
fossils, ethnologica, &c., collected in Texas by Dr. R. H. White, 
U. S. A. (See also under the names of Drs. J. Y. Porter, W. 
Whitney, T. E. Wilcox, and H. 0. Yarrow, medical officers United 
States Army.) 
Surreys west of the one hundredth meridian, Lieut O. M. Wheeler in 
charge. Collection of mortars and i)estles, pottery, arrows, quiv- 
ers, &c., also a large collection of plants; from Arizona and 
Bureau of Ordnance, General 8. F. Ben^t Specimens of copi)er-ore 

from Bock Island, 111. 
Signal Service, United States Army. (See under name Private JS. W. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


MVdsliington^ D. G. — Continued. 
Navy Department^ U. 8. A. : 
Bureau of !N^avigation, Commodore Whiting in charge ; 63 bottles 

of soundings made by the United States steamer Tuscarora. 
Surgeon-OeneraVs Office. (See under names of Drs. M. L. Ruth and 
Robert Whiting^ medical officers United States Navy.) 
Agricultural Department, U. 8. A., Hon. W. O. Le Due, Commissioner : 
Two pairs of antlers of Virginia deer; sucker-flsh {Catostomus) from 
Interior Department, U. 8. A. : 

General Land Office. (See under the names of Surveyors-Oeneral 
Roswellj H. Mason and John WoMon] also under name of P. W. 
Norris, superintendent Yellowstone National ParJc.) 
' United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. {Prof. Spencer F. 
Baird, Commissioner.) About 100 boxes zoological collections 
from Gloucester, Mass., and vicinity, made by Prof. A. E. VerriU^ 
O. Brown Ooode, and Tarleton H. Bean. (See also under names 
of Charles Q. AtJdns, Tarleton H. Bean, H. C. Chester, F. N. Clark, 
Vinal N. Edwards, 0. Brown Ooode, James W. Milner, and Living- 
ston Stone.) Specimens have also been obtained by the commis- 
sion from the following parties : 

And«r9(m, Capt, Charles, and crew of schooner Alice O, Wonson. A coUection 
of fiaheSy corals, sheUs, sponges, &o, ; from George's Bank. 

Jtkinsonf John. SkuU of codfish (Gadus morrhua); malformed claw of lob- 
ster {Romarus americanus). 

Allen, (George JT., schooner Marion. Specimen of gold-banded rusli-coral 
{Keratoisis omaia), 

Allen, George K., schooner M, H. Perkins, Collection of corals, sponges, sea- 
feathers, and fishes ; 40 miles southwest of Sable Island. 

Anderson, Capt, Chris, schooner Solomon Poole, A large and interesting col- 
lection of living hydroidSy bryozoans, sx>onges, &c. j iJx>m 15 miles off 
Pollock Ifip Light-Ship. 

Andrews, F, S, Specimen of spider-crab brought in by schooner Clara B. 
Sweet from Middle Bank. 

Babson, Fiiz J, Specimen of "old wife" (Harelda gladalis) shot in Squam 
River, and axis of coraL 

Bahson, Fitz J,, jr. Lobster {Homarus americanus), with deformed claw. 

Bahson, William H,, schooner Marion, Axis of coral (Primnoa reseda), from 

Baker, Captain, schooner Peter D, Smith, Specimen of young dog-fish 
(Squalus americanus), Inmp-fish (Cydopterus lumpus), &c. 

Bansett, William A,, New Bedford, Mass, Pilot-fish (Nauorates doctor,) 

Bartlett, J., New Bedford, Mass. Rabbit-fish {Tetrodon loBcigatus) ; ttom 
Buzzard's Bay. 

Bates, James, Rough swell-fish (Chilichthys turgidus), 

Blacklmm, Capt, William, schooner Charles Carroll, Part of skull of whale 
covered with bryozoans and sponges; from western ]>art of George's 

Blatchford, Capt, B, F, Specimen of bush-coral {Primnoa reseda); from 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


W<uhingt(mj J>. C. — Continued. 
U. 8. Commission of Fish and Fisheries — Continaed. 

* Brazier J Benfamin 8, String of eggs of Sjfooijfphua oamaUcuUUuSf from Mon- 

omy Beach ; and pebbles from Steelwagen's Bank, covered with bryozoa. 
BriggSf Captain, schooMr CUy of OloueeBter, Samples of fish-oil made on the 

Grand Bank. 
Brawny WUliam, $oh^oner Marian, Three specimens of black dog-fish new to 

the coast. 
Burhankf Martin, Toung lobster (Homarus amerioanus); from Monhegan 

Island. ^ 

Bmrkej Henry E.y eckooner HaUie 8, Clark, Bryosoans and sea-corn ; from 

the Grand Bank. 
Bums, Thamaa, Specimens of guU (Lame deUtwareneis) and star-fish {Bip- 

pa$teria)f from off Gloncester; specimens of chimnra and lancet-mouth 

(Alepidoeamrue farox); from George's Bank. 
Butler, Isaac, schooner Esther Ward, Specimens of star-fish, efponges, &c. ; 

frx>m Brown's Bank. 
Calderwood, Capt, M, W., schooner Jennie M, Calderwood. Perforated rocks 

with sponges and shells attached; frt>m Western Bank, 68 fathoms. 
Capron, John, BcJuxmer Solomon Poole, A large and beautiful collection of 

branching bryoxoan corals; from the Grand Banks. 
CarUen^ Arnold, schooner Alice G. Wonson, Specimen of msh-coral (^oaii- 

eUa) ; from between Brown's and George's Bank. 
Carritt, WUUaw^ eckooner Mary E, Shell new to America; frx>m Flemish 

Cap. ^ 

Carroll, Capt, Tktniel, Skua gull {Stercorarius skua) ; frt>m George's Bank. 
Cavener, Ifleholas, schooner Jdarathon, Chalina sponge and dog-fish skins; 

frt>m George^s Bank. 
Childs, Edward B,, schooner Mary F, Chishohn. Young green turtle ( Chelonia 

mydas); from S£. Le Have. 
Clark, Benjamin, schooner Water Sprite. Vase-shaped sponge (Phakellia)', 

from Brown's Bank. 
CUntcn, Capt, George T,, schooner Henry WHson, Barnacles, bryozoans, sea- 
corn, &.C. ; from Grand Bank. 
Colby, Capt, Charles, Pipe-fish (Syngnathus sp.) and star^fish (Hippasteria 

phrygina); taken eight miles off Gloucester. 
ColUms, Capt, Joseph W,, eohoomer Marion, A large and yery valuable col- 
lection of fishes, sponges, shells, and other marine animals, many of 

whioh are new both to tiie American fauna and to science. 
CoUinSj William, Jaws of shark caught off Monhegan Island. 
Conley, John, Specimens of finger-sponge (ChaUna) and mackerel-shark 

(Lamna comuMea)', from off Gloucester. 
Cressy, Charles C, Specimens of4>ceanio dolphin (Coryphama punctulata); 
Mrom the Grand Bank. 

Ciiftitiii^^iii 4' Thompson, Very large sponge; from Le Have Bank« 
Curtis, Capt, Andrew, ship Ida Lily of Biohmond, Pens of squid (Sepia), from 

Cadiz Bay; larval lobster (!) ; foesiliferous rock ; from George's Bank. 
Iku^orth, John, A large sea-worm. 

Davis, Mrs, Ahby L, Fossiliferous rook; from George's Bank. 
Daeis, Mrs, Mary E, Fossiliferous bowlder; frtnn Banquereau. 
Demsey, Capt, WilUam, schooner Everett Steele, Parasites of codfish (JEga 

psora); from George's Bank. 
Devon, Jamtcs, schooner Flying Scud, Base of ooral; from Eastern George's. 
Devoe, Capt Luke, schooner Epes Tarr, Branching bryozoans and sea-corn ; 

frt>m Grand Bank. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Washingtoriy D. C. — Continued. 
U. 8. Commission of Fish and Fisheries — Continued. 

Dixon f Eugme F,f 9eho<mer WUUam T, Smiti^, Hydroids and bryozoa; from 
15 miles off Virgin Rook. 

Bmrn, Capi, Ot0rffe W,^ schooner WtUUm T. SnUtk, Bryozoans and sea-corn; 
from Gkorge's Bank. 

Douglass, CapU Goorge, schwmer ConsHUMon* SpecuDens of lump-fish, dollar- 
fish, rock-eely moon-fish, &M,, and a crustacean (Idotea robusia) ; from Casoo 

Douglass, John, specimen of ribbon-sqake (Eutcmia sawrita), 

Douglass, B&hert,2d, Specimen of phantom-eel {LtpkHXpkahu); fh>m ofiT 

DrisooU, Danisl, schooner Solar Wave, Bush ccnml ; fhmi Banquereau. 

Dulaney, John, Rare holothurian ; fh>m off Qlouoester. 

Duncan, Capt J, F,, schooner Mary Low. A very large sponge; from Sable 
Island Bank. 

Floyd, Joseph D, Fosdliferous boulder aod nM^ perf or ated by Saxioova 
arcHoa; fh)m George's Bank. 

Friend, Sidney. Same as above. 

Gaffney, WilUam M. Rock covered wit^ bamaoles and bryoeoans and fosril- 
iferons boulder; from George's Bank. 

OeteheM, Capi. John Q., schooner Otis P. Lord. Specimens of fish, sponges, 
corals, &.C., two living hagdons, diells ; from George's and Brown's Banks, 
and Cax>e God. 

Ginnevan, Thomas, and Philip Merchan t Two very large spl^sp-crabs (LUhodee 

Chodwin, Capt. Thomm, schooner EUsha Crowell, Coral (Aeanthagorgki), 
from Western Bank ; eyes of fishes, coral, and sponge, from Sable Island 
Bank; lancet-mouth (Alepidosaurus ferox), from Le Have Bank. 

Goodwin, Thomas, schooner Bellerophon, Limestone rock containing fossil 
shells {Cyprina) ; from €^rand Bank. 

Gorton, Slade, 4r Co. Specimens of *' red " salted swordfish and codfish. 

Goslin, Capi. Joseph, schooner Shooting Star* Chalina sponge ; 25 miles south- 
east of Sankaty Head. 

Gowrville, Capi. John, schooner Rebeeoa Bartleti. Specimens of fish {Anarrhickas 
lupus, Triglops, Sebastes), shells, star-fish (Crossaster papposns), sponges 
(Chalina, Isodictya), crahs, bryozoa, &e., Ac; from C^eorge's Bank. 

GreenleOff, Capt, WiUiaim H., schooner Chester R. Lawrence. Specimens of fish 
(Haloporphyrus viola, Synaphobranehfus pinnains, Petromyson, &c.), groat 
northern sea-feather (PennaiulahoreaUs), corals {Flaheilnm, Aoanthomastusy 
Acanthagorgia) ; fh>m George's Bank. 

Hamlen, Capt. Peter, schooner Andrew Leighton, Wolf-fish {AUptdoeoMents 
ferox) and pug-nosed eel ; from George's Banks. 

Harvey, Edward, schooner Eeheooa BartletU SmaU emstaoeaa (Idotea robusia) ; 
from George's Bank. 

Maskell, Samuel. Fossiliforous boulder brought by schooner Conductor, 
Captain Curtis; also, bryosoans and foesiliferous boulder ijx>m Grand 
Bank, brought in by schooner Etta £. Tamer, Captain Olsen. 

Bawkkis, Capt. James, schooner Gwendolen. Basket star-fish, black rudder- 
fish (Palimurichthys), slime-eel (Myxins), crabs, shells, Ac.} from Saint 
Peter's and Le Have Banks. 

Hawkins, Capt. Z., schooner Gwendolen. Fishes (Zoarces, Petromyzon, Syna- 
phcbranehus, Ac.), embryo sharks, star-fishes, crabs; from George's Bank. 

HerrU^g, Richard, schooner WUUam H. Raymond. Large gray gannet (7) and 
fossiliferous rocks; from NE. George's Bank. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Washingtonj D. C. — Gontiuued. 
tr. 8. Commisaion of Fish and Fisheries — Continued. 

HewiUf I$aao 8.^ 8eho<mer J. J. Clark. Large bunch of bamaolea (BalanuB 

poroatus) ; from Middle Bank. 
Big^B 4' Gigbrd. Model of a Gloncester fiflli-whaTf and honsee. 
HilHeTf Drtd^j stkixmtr AUce M. WilUam$, Two rare Bpeeies of eel-like fishes 

and boah-eoral {AocmeUa MomMmi) with basket-fish attached. 
Hodgdomy CapU T, F,, sekootMr Bessie W. &4me$, CoUection of corals (Acattella 

iwrmaiii)f sponges, sea-foatiiere (PenmUula horealis, P, aouleata, BalUoiHa, 

Fmmarckioka)f riiells, Ac. ; from Sable Island Bank. 
HodgkmSf Edward W, Crabs (Ldthod^ maia and Cancer irroratus); from 

SsmumSj Capt, Charles A, Specimens of Sipo wood used by the Carib In- 
dians, of South America, for intoxicating and catching fish. Specimens 

of codfish from the West Indian market. 
Msfff George W,, sckooner Marg F, Chisholm. File-fish (Balistes capriseus) and 

axis of sea-pen ; from Le Have Bank. 
Burlbert, Capt, B, H, Eggs of periwinkle, from Cape Henlopen ; Gnnther's 

midge (Hgpsiptera argentea), from off Cape May ; sheUs of scaUop and her- 

ling-spawn from George's Bank. 
Jameson, John 8., schooner Hemy WUson, Bryozoans, scallops, and sea-corn ; 

from Grand Bank. 
JeUoWf Johm^ sckoomer Lama Nelson. Fragments of gold-banded msh-coral 

(Keratoisis ornata) ; from Le Have Bank. 
Jelhw, Joka H,, sehooner George P. Whitman, Specimens of coral (Aoanella 

normani, Primnoa reseda), snails (Lunaiia), and scaUops (Pecten); from Le 

Have and George's Banks. 
JeweU, Capi, Thomas, schooner Citg of GUuoesier, Specimens of sponge, fan- 
shaped and gold-banded eorals, sea-pens (PennahUa), Slc ; from Le Have 

Johnson, Capi, George A,, schooner Angnsta Johmson, A large and interesting 

lot of rare fishes, incinding the grenadier (Macrurus FahricU), chimera 

(Chim4gra pUmbea), black dog-fish (Centroae^lUmm and Centroscymnus), 

wolf-fish (Amatrrhichas lupus), (Sgnaphobranchus), shells, sponges &c. ; from 

Sable IsUmd and George's Banks. 
Johnson^ Capt, Peter. CoUection of shells, star-fishes, sea-cncnmbers, &c, ; 

from George's Bank. 
Kearney, William, sohoomer Marathom. Chalina sponge ; from George^s Bank. 
Kilpairiek, Capt, Briggs, sdiooner City of Oloimester, A rare sacker-fish 

{Btmoropsis Waehyptsra) taken fh>m the gills of a swordfish. 
Ki»g, W, A.f schooner Otis D, Dana. Bush-ooral (PrUnnoa reseda) ; from 

Oeorge^s Bank. 
Klppin, John, schooner 8olomon Poole, Chalina sponge, and stones bored by 

Soj^oaisa arctkoa; from Grand BMik. 
Zakeman, J, Spider-crab {Leiihodes mma), 
Larkin, John, sehooner Chorge W, Stetson, Tonng hagdon, living. 
Lc Blanc, Simon, schooner Behecca Bartlett. Star-fish {Crossaster papposus) ; 

from George's Bank. 
Zloyd, J, X>. Stones bored by Stuioava arctioa, fossils, dbo. ; from George's 

Lundberg, Jokm A, Sponge (Chalina aondeaia) ; fh>m George's Bank. 
McCaXUm, George, schooner Fits J, Babson, Specimen of the King-of-the- 

herring (Ckknaraplumbea); from Le Have Bank. 
McDonald, Duncan, schooner Polar Wave, Specimens of coral and '^turbot" 

{Platysomaiichthys hippoglossoides); from Eastern Banquerean. 

Digitized by V^OOQIC 


WasMngtoTij D. G. — Continued. 
U. 8. Commission of Fish €md Fisheries — Continued. 

McDonald, James atid John D,, schooner Addison Center, Old-faahioned iron 
kettle ; hanled np on trawl near Halifax, N. 8. 

McDonald, CapL Jerome, sdhooner G, P, Wkitnuin, Rare barnacles and King- 
of-the-herring (Chimeera plwnbea); from Le Have Bank; two specimens 
of lancet-month (Alepidosaurus ferox) ; from George's Bank. 

McDonald, Capt Matthew, schooner lAzMxe K, Clark. Specimens of rare fish 
(Chimoera plumhea, Sjfw^kohraMohus pinnatus), corals (KeraUHsis, Acaniha- 
gorgia, Acanella), sheUs, sponges, sea-feathers, &c. ; finom Western and 
Sable Island Banks. 

McDonald, Miles, Sea-monse (Aphrodite aculeata) ; fix>m Middle Bank. 

McDonald, Capt, William, schooner K. H, PhUUps, Fire specimens of coral 
(Acanella normani) ; from S£. Le Have Bank, and one (Paragorgia) from 
Seal Island Bank. 

McEachem, Daniel, schooner Ouy Cunningham, Bases of fkn-shaped coral 
taken on Grand Bank; and specimens of eels (Mffxine and Petromyzon); 
sponges and sea-anemones; fiom George's Bank. 

MoEntire, Daniel, Gypsnm; ftom month of Saint Lawrence River. 

McCrinnis, Captain, schooner M, H, Perkins, Black dog-fish (Centroscymnns 
ocelol^) ; from Sable Island Bank. 

McKinnon, Capt, Daniel,, schooner Mary F, Ckishohn, Specimens of fish 
(Myxine, Sehastes Petromyzon), crabs, corals, &o.; from Sable Island and 
Le Have Banks. 

McKinnon, Capt, John, schooner B, B, Hayes. Spider-crab (Leithodes mma) ; 
from 25 miles off Gloucester, SE. 

McPhee, Capt. N., and crew, of schooner Carl Sdhurz, Specimens of corals 
(Aleyonium, Flahellum, Acanella), sea-feathers, star-fish, parasites of hali- 
but (JEga psora), &c. ; from near Sable Island Bank. 

McQuinn, Edw, Specimens of Remoropsis hrachyptera ; brought in by schooner 
W. H. Perkins firom Grand Bank. 

McQmnn, MidhaeH, schooner N. H, Phillips, Rare shells (Aporrhais), and eg^ 
of shark ; from George's Bank. 

Maddin, Benry F. Axis of tree-coral (Primnoa reseda) ; from off Sable Isl- 

Mansfield, James, ^ Sons, FossUiferons boulder; ihim George's Bank. 

Marhle, Frank. Large finger-sponge (Chalina), King-fish (Menticirrus nehu- 
losus), and fish-spawn ; fh>m Norman's Woe. 

Martin, Capt. Crtorge H., schooner Northern Eagle. Specimens of fish, Crus- 
tacea, barnacles, hydroids, &c., from between Boone Island and Matin- 
icus Reck, swordfish (Xiphias gladims); taken off Portland, Me. (pur- 
chased) ; 5 swords of swordfish from South Channel; pipe-fish (^yn^fia/^x 
fusims) ; fh>m Provinoetown, Mass. 

Martin, Capt. 8. J, Living specimen of hagdon (Pujflnus anglorum) ; frx>m 
George's Bank. 

Mason, Peter, Shells and hjdroids taken by crew of schooner Hattie S. 
Clark on Grand Bank. 

Meek, James, schooner Alice G, Wonson. Specimen of tree-coral (Paragorgia 
arbuscnla) ; from between Brown's and George's Banks. 

Menezer, Joseph, Herring-guU; from Gloucester, Mass. 

Merchant, George, jr,, schooner Hattie B, West, A small goose-fish (Lophius 
pisoatorins) taken off Cape Elizabeth. 

Merchan t, Philip, s<Moner Marion^ Specimens of coral (Mopsia, Keratoisis, and 
Acanella) ; fh>m 30 miles off Sable Island. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Washingtanj D. C, — Continued, 
r. S, Commission of Fish and Fisheries — Continued. 

Moortj M, C.f schooner Chester B, Lawrence, Tnsk of walrus ; found on the east 
coast of Newfoundland. 

Morrieaeyf CapU Daitiel C, schooner Alice M, Williams, Two specimens of 
bush-coral {Acanella normani) ; from the Western Bank. 

Morrissey, Capt, James D,f schooner Alice M, Williams, Specimens of fish 
{Chimoera plumhea, Ceniroscymnus ooelolepis, Petromyzon) and coral; from 
George's Bank. 

Morrison, Capt. B, N,, schooner Laura Nelson. Lamper-eel (Petromyzon) and 
fragments of tree-ooral (Paragorgia arlorea) ; from Le Have Bank. 

Murphy, J., schooner Gertie Foster. A beautiful siK>nge; from George's Bank. 

Murphy, Michael J., schooner Magic, Specimen of tree-coral (Paragorgia or- 
borea); from Grand Bank, and bush-coral (Acanella normani); from Ban- 

Murphy, Capt Nidholas, schooner Franklin 8. SchencJc. Pebbles covered with 
bryozoans; from Whaleman's Shoal off Nantucket. 

Xolan, Joseph, schooner Bessie W, Somes. Si)ecimen of bush-coral (Primnoa 
reseda) ; from Banquereau. 

Olsen, Capt. Chris,, and crew^ schooner WUliam Thompson, Specimens of sea- 
mouse (Aphrodite) star-fish, hydroids, bryozoans, &c. ; from Grand and Le 
Have Banks. 

Parsons, John, Young pipe-fish (Syngnafhns fuscus). 

Parsons, William. Specimen of snipe-oel (Kemichthys soolopaoeus); taken by 
schooner Howard Steele, on George's Bank in 1875. 

Pearee, F. A. Si>eoimens of fish, star-fish, shells, &c. ; from Western Bank. 

Peterson, Martin, and Dennis Theleueng, schooner William Thompson, Speci- 
mens of rare fish (Alepidosaurus ferox, Macrurus Fdbricii, Centroscymnus 
cetlolepis) and coral ; 39 miles off Sable Island. 

Peterson, M, B., schooner Guy Cunningham, Si>ecimen of gold-banded rush- 
coral (Keratoisis omata) with barnacles attached, &,o. 

PetUngell 4' Cunningham. Fossilif^rous boulders bored by Saxicava; from 
George's Bank. 

PoUen, Alfred, schooner Mary E. Hat-sponge from Flemish Cap. 

BadcUffe, William H., yacht Uncle Sam. Sea-lemon (Doltenia); from off Glou- 
cester, Mass. 

Bieh, Capt. A. F., Boston, Mass. Si>ccimen of suckor-fish (Bemoropsis hrachyp' 
tera) ; from South Channel. 

BXtey, WiiUaim, schooner Grace C, Hadley, Living fulmar-petrol; from 
George's Bank. 

Booth, David, schooner lizzie K, Claris. Tobacco-pipe mode from axis of tree- 

Schooner AUoe G, Wonson. Lancet-mouth (Alepidosaurus ferox), corals (Pa- 
ragorgia arborea, Fldbellum artieum, Primnoa reseda), star-fishes, shells, &c. ; 
from between George's and Le Have Banks. 

Schooner Carl Schurz. King-of-the-herring (Chimeera plnmhca) and bush- 
coral (Acanella normani) ; taken 30 miles south of Sable Island ; al^ 
sword of swordfish. 

Schooner Charger* Specimen of spider-crab (Leithodes maia) ; from Marble- 
head Bank. 

Schooner G. P. Whitman, Rock covered with bryozoans; from Banque- 

Schooner Grace C. Hadley. Stone covered with barnacles and bryozoa; 
from George's Bank. 

Schooner Howi^rd HoUnrook, Scallop-shells; from Grand Bank. ^ j 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Wa^MngtoUj D. C. — Continued. 
U. 8. Commission of Fish and Fisheries — Continued. 

Schooner Jone M, Caldencood. Perforated rocks with sponges and shells ad- 
hering ; from George's Bank. 

Schooner Lizzie K, Clark, Shells of Buodnwn c^neum ; from 30 miles sonth 
of Sable Island. 

Schooner Northern Star. Three living hagdons (Pufinus anglorum); from 
Grand Bank. 

Schooner Otis P. Lord, Collection of star-fishes {Crossaaier papposus), bania- 
dee, sea anemones, &c. 

Schooner Phcenix* Skin of spear-fish (Tetrapiurue albidue); taken in the 
South Channel. 

Schooner Beheoca Bartleii, Tail of swordfish {^pUa» gladim,) 

Schooner WiUihuaeii^ CoUection of scallope, hydrolds and barnacles; from 
, Grand Bank. 

Eowej George T, Specimen of Zoarcee; from off Gloucester. 

Bowe, CapU John. Specimen of bosh-coral (Prinmoa reseda) ; from Banqne- 

BowCf Timothy S. Specimen of '♦ gnlf-weed ; " from the Golf Stream. 

Suetf Mi88 Carrie A. Barnacles (Lepas faadoularia) ; from Harpswell, Me. 

Saytoard, E. P,, jr. Fossiliferons rocks ; from George's Bank. 

Scott f George W, , schooner Lizzie. Collection of rare fi8hes.( Centroscyllum Fab- 
ridi, Centroseymnus ccelolepiSy Chimcera plumbea)^ sheUs, sponges, corals, 
&c. ; from Banqnereau. 

Scoity George W., schooner Edwin C. DolHver. Specimens of fish (ffalopor- 
phyrus, Anarrhichas, Phyds, Synaphohranchus, ChimcBra)^ devil fish(Octopt{« 
JBairdii)f corals (Alcyoniumf Keratoisis), sea-feathers {P e n n atvla , BalHcina), 
shells, &o. ; from lat. 43^ 23', long. 60° 16'. 

Scottf George W.j scliooner City of Gloucester. Sample of black-dog-fish oil. 

Shemelia^ Joseph P., schooner WUliam H. Baynumd. A large coUection of liv- 
ing water-birds, five species ; from NE. George's Bank. 

Shemelia, James C, schooner JFiUiam H. Raymond. Chalina sponge, barnacles, 
hydroids, and bryozoans; from George's Bank. 

SilvorTerraf Anton^ schooner Bebeoca Bartlett, Specimens of dog-fish skin. 

Simons J Capt. A., schooner Defiance. Living specimen of sea-robin (Priono- 
Uis) ; from the Brewsters. 

Smithf John L. Specimens of sea-corn taken by schooner Conductor on 
Grand Bank ; also tree-coral from George's Bank. 

SmUh f Cakes. Fossiliferons boulder bored by Saaoieaica; from George's 

Spurr, Captain, schooner John F. Wonaon. Muscles, hydroids, biyozoaus, &c,} 
fit)m George's Bank. 

Story f L, i>., Magnolia. Small fish (Argyreiosus vomer) ; firom Magnolia. 

Sweeney f Frank. Parasites from gills of codfish taken off Gloucester. 

Sweet, Capt. William E., schooner Grace C. Hadlcy. Sea-ououmber (Thyoni- 
dium Duhenii), star-fish, and parasites of cod (ASga psora) ; from George's 

Tarr, Capt. James. French hooks taken fVom the stomaoh of codfish on 
shoal ground off Salvages in 1856 and Jeffries Ledge, 1876. 

Tarr, James G. Samples of fish-oil. 

Thompson, Capt. WiUiam, schooner Magic Collection of corals, sponges, sea- 
feathers, shells, &c. ; from Sable Island Bank and Banqpeieau. 

Tresilian, Thomas. Tree-coral (Primnoa reseda) ; from George's Bank. 

Voss, A. '^Devil's claw," or box-hook used in boxing halibut. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Washington^ D. C — Contuioed. 
U. 8. Commission of Fish and Fisheries — CantiBued. 

Wehbf Ckipt, Heturjf, Bockport, Speoimens of pollock, whitm^, and Greenlmid 

scolpin ; from Milk Island, Rockport. Also, lobster-pot bait-hook. 
WelU, CapU WiUiam K, schooner E. B. PhUUps, Shells from Grand Bank. 
Welsh, Capt, James, schooner Martha and Susan, Specimen of chalina sponge ; 

frt>m Oeofge's Bank. 
Welsh, Morris, Specimen of chalina 8i>onge ; frt)m George's Bank. 
Whiting, Renry, schooner Webster Sanborn, A large eollectioa of shells (Peo- 

ten islandioa, Bh^chonella, sp.) ; from Grand Bank. 
Whitman, George P., Rockport, Mounted specimens of Richardson's jaeger- 

gnll {Sieroor a rius pe^rasiUcns), 
Williams, CapU B, A,, sdiooner Centennial, Scallop shell and pebbles with 

bamaelea, bryozoans, and sea-oom adhering. 
Wilson, John L, schooner Otis D, Dana, Specimens of pomarine Jceger (Ster* 

corarius pomatorhinus) ; from Greorge's Bank. 
Wonson, Everett P. A collection of shells, barnacles, corals, &c. ; from New- 

fbnndland and George's Bank. 

Wassony John^ United States Swreyor-Oeneraly Arizona. Collection of 
ores and minerals from varioas mines in Arizona. 

Wathins, Joseph C. Small collection of fragmentary bones, pottery, 
arrow-heads, and fine stone pipe; from mound in Missouri. 

Webbj Capt Henry. (See Washington, D. C., United States Fish Com- 

WellSj Capt. William N. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Welshy Capt. James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Wdshy Morris. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

WelshcTj H. W. Four specimens of whiteflsh {Coregonus albtts)'^ from 
Madison Lake, Wisconsin. 

WemeTy Johamiy children of. Arrow-head and copper nodule; from Wis- 

Wheeler J C. Le B. Specimens of stone implements; from New York. 

WheeleTy Lieut. Oeorge Jlf., U.S. A. (See Washington, D. C, War Depart- 

Whitallj Tatum & Co.y Philadelphia. Samples of glass jars. 

Whitey Artemas. Copper celt, slate arrow-heads, and minerals; from 
New YoBk, 

Whiiingy Henry. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Whitingy Br. Bdberty U. 9. N. Copper idol; from the valley of the 
Bimac, Peru. 

Whitmany Oeorge P. (See Washington, B. C, United States Fish Com- 

Whitmorey Hon. A. H. Young sturgeon; from Verona, Me. 

Whitmorsy Joshua. Lamprey; from Bucksport, Me. 

Whi^ieyy L. Flint knives, p- ' ^^, and stone ax; from Illinois. 

Digitized by V^OOQIC 


Whitney^ Br. TT., U. 8. A. Stone axe; fix)m New Mexico. 

Whittakerj E. E. Three sample of ore 5 from Oregon. 

Wiggins^ Fred. B. Living snate (Reterodon); from Virginia. 

Wiggimsy John B. Tliree boxes of aboriginal soapstone vessels; from 

Wilcox^ Br. T. JE7., U. 8. A. Bottle of alcoholic reptiles ; from Indian 

Wilder^ General J. F. Stone fignre-head, pipes, and other valuable 

Willardy C. C. Fresh specimen of Eocky Mountain sheep; from Wyo- 

WUlettSy Joseph C. Two specimens of lake-trout; from Skaneateles Lake, 
New York. 

Williams, Benjamin. Box of stone implements; from Michigan. 

WilliamSj Capt. B. A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Williamson^ Hon. 0. J.., United 8tates Minister, Ouatemaia. Box of eth- 
nological and geological specimens ; from Guatemala. 

Wilson, John I. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Wilson^ W. M. Collection of living reptiles ; from Prince George^s County, 

Wiltheis, C. T. Box of stone relics; from Ohio. 

Wittman, E. Box of Cincinnati Group fossils. 

Wonson, Everett F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Wood, A. 8. Civet cat (Bassaris astnta)', from Oregon. 

Wood, Br. Preston. Specimens of stone implements; from IlUnois. 

Wood, Br. William. Si)ecimenof Lota maculosa; from Coimecticut. 

Woodtcard, A. J. Shell of turtle; fi*om Otter Creek, Florida. 

Woolley, C. W. Specimens of the tobaixjo-worm moth ; from Illinois. 

Wooster, A. F. Specimens of arrow-heads and eggs of robin and chicken- 

Wooster, L. C. Package of Upper Cretaceous fossils ; from the Cache 
la Poudre River, Colorado. 

Yarrow, Br. R. C. Mummy of Arapahoe child and surroundings; froa 
Sidney, Nebr. 

Zeledon, Jos6 C. Six boxes of general natural history and ethnological 
collections; from Costa Bica. 

Unknown. Corals ; scales of tarpum, Indian stone tube, amethystine 
crystal; sx>ecimens of mule-killer (Thelyphonus)', specimen of coal: 
snake; stone relics from West Virginia; insect; box of fossils from 
Lawrence, Kans. ; fossil plant ; living black-snakes {Ba^scaniwm con 
strictor)) living helgramite ; from Virginia. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Certificate of Award 

To the Smithsonian Institntion, for Hon. Thomas Donaldson, Collector. 

Collection of Ores. 

No. 1. — Group 1. 


(In accordance with the Act of Congress) 

Philadelphia, September 27, 1876. 

A, T. Goshom, 
Director General, 

John L. Campbell, 

Jos. R. Hawley, 




ian ex- 

ment ex- 


AreentiDe Confederation .. 


No. of 








British Oaiana .- r . r ^ ---,_-,,_-,,,,,......... . 


f^^nttdA .... 





















pwS^;; ::;:::::;ii ::i::::;::;:;:;j;i;;;;" "::::;;;:;::; :::; 









8yS.::::::::::::: :..::.::::::::::::::::::::::::::.-:::::"::"::: 

Kew Sooth "Wale* 




Kew Zealand 




Doath Australia 


Tasmania — 


Victoria ^ ^ 










G«rnjanv . , - , . -,..,..... 


G»wrt Britain , 














fttSf^::;;:;::: :;::::::::::::;;::: ::; ; 






S«iU4*rLind .. 


* Omitted ftt>m the Report for 1870, page 88. 

S. Mis. 59 8 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 





ian ex- 

ment ex- 


Ainericft........** ••>..•<••..••••••••■•-■• •••••••-• •••- 
















Australia .... ........................................................ 


Europe... .-... - 






Note.— No. of boxes, 800; bulk, in cubic feet 2,100: weight in pounds, 60,220, containing fourteen 
thousnnd six hundred fuid fbrty-eight miscellaneons packages, of wmch 60 contained specimens of nat- 
ural liistory. 



Alabama University 


Territorial Library 


Little Rook: 
State Library 


Berkeley : 
University of California 

Sacramento : 
Agricultural and HorticultnralSociety 

CtSifomia Institution 

California Institution for the Deaf 

and Dumb and Blind 

Geological Survey of California 

State Acricultuial Society 

San Francisco: 
California Academy of Sciences ..... 

California Historical Society 

Mayor of the city of San Francisco . . 
Mechanics' Institute 

Stockton : 

Society of Natural History 

State Insane Asylum 


Colorado Springs : 
£1 Paso County Library Association. 

State Library 

Hartford : 

American Pliilologioal Association .. 

Connecticut Society of Natural His- 

Connecticut State Agricultural So- 

^troat for the Insane 

Society of Natural Sciences , 

State ISoard of Agriculture 

State Library 

Toung Men's Institiite 

Watklnson Library of Beference ... 
Middletown : 

Hospital for the Insane 

New Haven : 

American Journal of Scionoe and 

American Oriental Society 

Connecticut Academy of Arts and 

She£Beld Scientific School 

Tale College 


Georgetown College 

Pioneer School 

1877. 1878. 





District of Columbia-— Continued. 

Washington : 

Agriculture, Department of 

American Medical Association 

Board of PubUo Schools 

Botanic Garden... 

Coast Survey 

Census Bureau 

Columbia Institution for the Deaf and 

Columbian Universitv 

Corcoran Gallery of Art 

Education, Bureau of ..^ 

Engineer Buieau 

Fish Commission 

Geological Survey of the Territories 
Government Hospital for the Insane. 

Hydrographio Office 

Indian Commissioners, Office of the. 

Interior Department 

Land Office 

Library of Congress 

Light-House Board 

Medical Society of the District of 


National Academy of Sciences 

Nautical Almanao Office 

Naval Observatory 

Navigation, Bureau of 

Navy Department 

Ordnance Office 

Patent Office 

Paymaster-General, U. S. A 

Philosophical Society 

President of the United States 

Signal Office 

Statistics, Bureau of 

Surgeon-General's Office 

Swedish and Norwegian Legation 

Treasury Department 

War Department 


Athens : 

Univeraity of Athens 

. Augusta: 
Horticultural Society 

Historical Society of Georgia 


Literary and Historical Society 

Blocnnington : 
Illinois Museum of Natural History 

Carbondale : 
Southern Illinois Normal University 


Chicago Academy of Science 

Chicago Board of Trade 

Chicago Historical Society 

Chicago Public Library 

Dearborn Observatory ......?. ,^ ^m^, 

Digitized by VJiOCT< 

1877. 1878. 



























Packages received by the Smithsonian Inititutiahf ^c. — Continued. 

; 1877. 1878. 

XujKOis — Continued. 

"Major ot the city of Chicago 

S^ational Livo Stock Joamkl 

Public School Library 

TJniveraity of Chicago 

Xorthorn Hospital for the Insane . . . . 

Evanston : 
Northwestern UniTersity 

Galcsbnr^ : 
Lombard University 

State Hospital for the Insane 

American Pomological Society 

nUnois Natural History Society and 

Ottawa : 
Academy of Natural Sciences 

Bantoul Literary Society 

Springlleld : 
State Board of Agriculture 

Indiana University 

GreencasUe : 
Indiana Asbury UniTersity 


Geological Surrey of Indiana 

Histoncal Societv 

Indiana Horticultural Society 

Institution for the Education of the 


Public Library 


Burlington : 
Iowa Historical and Genealogical 

Davenport Academy of Sciences 

Norwegian Lutheran College 

Des Mofaies : 
Department of Public Instruction . . . 
State Library 

Grinnell University 

Iowa City: 

Directm- Iowa Weather Service 

Iowa State University ■ 

. Laboratory of Physiod Science 

iionnt Pleasant : 
Asylum fur the Insane 


Baldwin City: 
Baker University 

Kansas Insane Asylum 

Kansaa Natural History SodeCy 


State Library 

TTeatem Lunatio Asylum :... 

Lexington : 

Eastern Lunatic Asylum 

Kentucky University 


Ifayorof the city of Louisville 

Poblic Library 

University of Louisville 

Russ^ville : 
Logan Female College 


Baton Souge: 
State Universily 

, 1877. , 1878. 

' LonsLUTA— Continued. 

.. ' Clinton: 

.. Louisiana Insane Asylum 

6 New Orleans: 

4 I Athene Louisianais 

I Insane Asylum . 

I Mayor of the city of Now C 
' New Orleans Academy of 
I Sciences 

Orleans . . 



State Library 

University of Louisiana 


Commissioner of Fisheries of the 

State of Maine 

Maine Hospital for the Insane 

Natural History and Geological So- 

State Board of Agriculture 

Brunswick : 

Bowdoin College 

Historical Society of Maine 

Calais High School and Academy 

Lewiston : 
Androscocgin Natural History So- 
ciety ^." 

Norway : 
High School and Academy 


Maine Agricultural Society 

Portland Society of Natural History. 

Colby University 



St. John's College 

United States Naval Academy 


Baltimore City College 

Johns Hopkins University 

Maryland Academy of Science 

Maryland Asylum for the Insane ... 

Maryland Historical Society 

Maryland Institute 

Mayor of the city of Baltimore 

Peabody Institute 

St. Paul's Lyceum and Library As- 

University of Maryland 


Amherst : 
Amherst College 

Andover : 
Theological Seminary 

American Academy 

of Arts and 

American Gynecological Society 

American Social Science Assocmtion. 

American Statistical Association 

American Unitarian Association 

Board of State Charities 

Boston Art Club 

Boston Athenffiiun 

Boston Hospital 

Boston Me«lical and Surgical Journal 

Boston Microscopical Society 

Boston Society of Natural History. .. 

Bowditch Library 

Department of I'liblic Instruction . . . 

Institute of Technology 

Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind. 
Massachusetts Board of Education . . 

Massachusetts Historical Society 

Mayor of the city of Boston 

Medical and Surgical Journal 

New England IHstorio Genealogical 


North American Review 

PnbUc Library ^keed^ 






! t 


28 , 


G , 


12 ! 







1 1 
10 , 


















Packages received by the Smilhsanian Institution, j'c, — Continued. 

Mabsachubeits— Continned. 

Science Obserrer 

Stat^ Board of Agriculture 

Stat© Board of Charities 

State Board of Health 

State Library 

Cambridge : 

CambridKe Philosophical Society 

Entomological Club 

Harvard College 

Harvard College Herbarium 

Harvard College Observatory 

Uusenm of Comparative Zoology 

Kilt tall Ornithological Club 

Peabody Museum of American Arch- 

Jamaica Plains: 
Bussey Instit ute 

Leicester Public Library 

Newton Centre: 
Theological Institution 

Pennikese Island : 
Anderson School of Natural History. 

Salem : 
American Associfftion for €he Ad- 
vancement of Science 

American NaturaHst 

Essex Institu4« 

Peabod V Academy of Sciences 

North Church and Society 

Taunton : 
State Lunatic Asylum ..., 

Wellesley : 
"Welleslev College 

Williams College 

American Antiquarian Society 


Ann Arbor: 
Herbarium of the IJniveraity of 



University of Michigan 

Cold water: 
Michigan Library Association 

Michigan State Agricultural Society . 

Kalamazoo : 

Asylum for Insane 

' Lansing: 
Michigan State Bo«rd of Health 


Scandinavian City Library 

Minneapolis : 
Minnesota Academy of Natural 


ITniverHitv of Minnesota 

Saint Peter : 
Hospital for the Insane 

Saint Paul: 
MinnusoU Historical Society 

University of Mississippi. 


University of Missouri 

Fullon : 
State Lunatic Asylum 

Morrison Observatory 

Saint Louis : 
Geological Survey of Mistoori . 





3£i80OU&l— Continued. 

Mayor of the city of Saint Louis. 

Public Library 

Saint Louis Academy of Science . 

Saint Louis Universltv 

State Board of Agriculture 

Washington University 


Lincoln: ' 
University of Nebraska . 




Department of Agriculture 

New Hampshire Historical Society . 

State Agricultural Society 

State Lunatic Asylum 

Hanover : 
Dartmouth College 


81 ' 
89 I 

1 I 


Hoboken : 
Stevens Institute of Technology .... 

New Jersey Historical Society 

New Brunswick : 
Geological Survev of New Jersey... 
Natural History Society 


College of New Jersey 

Observatory of College of New Jersey 

Trenton : 
State Lunatic Asylum 

18n. i 1878. 



4 , 

4 : 


10 I 




Albany : 

AdirondacK Survey Office....^ 

Albany Institute 

Dndlev Observatory 

New York State A|?rionltural Society 

New York State Library 

New York Medical Society 

New York State Museum of Natural 


Now York State University .-. , 

Blackwell's Island : 
New York City Lunatic Asylum 

Brooklyn : 

Long Island Historical Society 

Mayor of the city of Brooklyn 


Buffido Historical Society 

Buflfklo Medical Association 

Bnflfolo Society of Natural Scienoos. . 

Clinton : 

Hamilton College 

Litchfield Observatory 

Cornwall : 
Cornwall Library 

Hobart College. 

Hamilton : 
Madison University 

C4>men College 

New York : 
American Chemical Sbciety. 

American Chemist 

American Christian Commission 
American Ettmological Sode^^ . 
American Geographical Society. 

American Institute 

American Institute of Architects. 
American Library Journal 

American Microscopical Society . 
American Museum of Natural History 
American Numismatic and Areh»o> 
logical Sodsty 


Digitized'by K300Q 

Packages received 6y the Smithsonian InsUtutionf ^c. — Continued. 


Xew York— Contiiined. 

American Pablio Health Association 
Amf^rican Society of CItU Engineers 
Anthropological Institute ox New 


Afttor Library 

Bloomincdole Asylum for the Insane 
Board of Health of the city of New 


Colombia College 

Commissioners of Centaral Park 

Sngineeriiiff and Mining Joomal . . . 

Insurance ^Department 

Manufacturer and Builder 

Mavor of the city of Now York .... 


Medical Kecorder 

Mercantile Library Association 

Metropolitan Board of Health 

Metropolitan Museum of Art 

New York Academy of Medicine . . . 

New York Academy of Sciences 

New York Historical Society 

New York Meteorological Observatory 



School of Mines 

Scientific American -. 

Scottish American Journal 

Swedenborg Society 

Swedish-Norwegian Consulate 

Fnited States Sanitary Commission . 
University of the City of Now York. 
Tan Nostrand's Eclectic Engineer- 
ing Magazine 

Pougbkeepaiu : 

Boeh^ster: , 
Theological Seminary 

Schenectady : 
<irni<Hi College 

State Lunatic Asylum 

West Point: 


United States Military Academy 



Anthropological Society 

State Archaeological Society 

Athens : 
Ohio University 

Cincinnati : 

American Medical College 

Cincinnati Observatory 

Cincinnati Quiarterly Journal of 

Science • 

Historical and Philosophical Society . 
Loogview As>-lum for the Insane — 

Mayor of the city of Cincinnati 

Menauitilo Library 

Natural History Society 

Public Library 

University of Cincinnati 

Young Men's Mercantile Library .... 

Academy of Natural Sciences 

Columbus : 

Geological Survey of Ohio 

Ohio State Board of Agriculture 

Ohio State Library 


Mnenro of Wesleyan University 

Ohio TTesleyan University 

Kenron College 

North Bend: 
Ohio Horticultural Society 

Urboaa University 



1877. 1878, 

Ohio — Continued. 

Yellow 8prin<:s : 
Antioch College 


















Allegheny : 

Allegheny Ouservatory 

Society of Natural Sciences. 


Belles-Lettres Society 

Dickinson College 

Crozer Theological Seminary i 

Easton : 
American Institute of Mining En- ' 


Lafayette College 

Germantown : 
Germantown Libruy Association 

Medical Society of the State of Penn- 

State Library 


Academy of Natural Sciences 

American Entomological Society. . » . . 
Amei'ican Journal of Conchology . * . . 
American Pharmaceutical Association 

American Philosophical Society | 

Boai-d of Health 

l>oard of Public Education 

Central High School . 

Commisiiioncro of Falrmount Park. .. 

Dentiil Cosmos 

Director cf the Mint 

l^nklin Institute 

Friends' Book-Store 

Geological Survey of Pennsylvania . . 

Giraru College 

Historical Swiety of Pennsylvania. .. 
Institution for the Deaf ana Dumb . . 

JeHcrson Medical College 

Library Company 

Mayor of the city of Philadelphia — 

Medical Times 

Mexican Commission %... 

Observatory of Girard CoUege 

Office of Gray's Atlas 

Pennsylvania Hospital 

Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane . 
Philadelphia Society for the Promo- 
tion or Agriculture 

Social Science Association 

Stacey Stone Dressing Machine Com- 

University of Pennsylvania 

Watmer Free Institute of Science 

Zooldirical Society 

Pittsburg : 
National Iron and Steel Publishing 

South Bethlehem : 
Lehigh University 



Brown University 

City Registrar's Office 

Bhode Island Histoidcal Society 

Rhode Island Society for the Encour- 
agement of Domestic Industry 



Charleston Library Society , 

'l Charleston Medical Journal and Re- 

8 i' view .. 

i Charleston Museum of Natural His- 
... i tory ^ 

Digitized by V^OOQIC 


Packages received hy the Smithsonian Inatitutiony ^-c. — Continaed. 

South CAROLDiA-^Continood. 

Charleaton Observatory 

Elliott Society of It^atoral History 

Sonth Carolina Historical Society — 
South Carolina Medical Association. 

University of South Carolina 

Lexington : 
Theological Seminary of the Evan- 
gelic^ Lutheran Club 


East Tennessee University- . .. 
^bilomatbean Society 

Lebanon : 
Cumberland University 


Hospital for the Insane 

Tennessee Historical Society. 



State I^ibraiT 

University of Texas 

Chapel Hill: 
Soole University 


Vermont Historical and Antiquarian 

Brattleboruugh : 
Vermont Asylum for Insane 

Burlington : 
University of Vermont 

Orleans County Society of Natural 

State Cabinet of Natural History... 
Stat© Library 

Charlottesville : 
University of Virginia 

Hampden Sidney : 
Hampden »Sidney College 

Agricultural Society 

Richmond : 
Historical Socii^ty of Virginia.. 
Me<lical Society of Virginia ... 
State Library 


Lawrence University , 

Galesville : 
GalesviUe University 

Inmansville : 
Wisconsin Scandinavian Society.... 

Janesville : 
Wisconttbi Institute for the Educa- 
tion of the Blind 

Madison : 
Stite Historical Society of Wisconsin 

State Library 

Superinti'ndent of Public Instruction 

University of Wisconsin 

Washburn Observatory 

Wisconsin Academy oi Arts and Sci- 

Wisconsin State Agricultural Society 

Milwaukee University 

1877. 1878. 


3 I. 


WiscoNSiM— Continued. 

Natural History Society 

Skandinaviske Presseioming 

Scandinavian Library 

Northern Hospital for the Insane — 


Eredericton, Now Brunswick : 

University of New Brunswick 

Halifax. Nova Scotia: 
Nova Sootian Institute of Natural 


Hamilton, Ontario: 

Scientific Association 

I Kingston, Ontario : 

I Botanical Society of Canada 

' Observatory 

Qaeen's College 

I Milltown, St. Stephen's, New 

' Public Library 

I Montreal, Quebec : 

I Entomological Society 

Geological Survey of Canada 

Mayor of the city of Montreal 

McGiU College 

Mechanics' Institute 

Montreal Observatory 

Natural History Society 

Soci6t6 d* Agriculture du Bas-Canada 
Ottawa, Ontario : 

Library of Parliament 

Literary and Scientific Society 

Quebec, Quebec: 

Geographical Society 

I Laval University 

Le Natnrallste Canadien 

Literary and Historical Society 


Superintendent de I'lns^notion Pu- 


St John. New Brunswick: 

Natural History Society 

I Toronto, Ontario: 

! Board of Agriculture 

Canadian Institute 

Literary and Historical Society 

Meteorolo^cal OfQco 

Museum of Education 


, School of I'ractical Scienccof Agri- 
culture and Arts 

. University of Toronto 


1 tl 



Abbe, Prof C 

Adams, Prof. H 

Agassis, Prof. A 

Aikens, M. L. A 

Alexander, Prof. S 

AUen, J. A 

Allen, H 

Alvord, General 

Am<»s, Mrs. M. P 

Anderson, R. B 

Andrews, W. V 

Angell, J.B 

Anthony, J. G 

Appleton, N 


Armstrong, Doctor 

Ashe, Commander £ 

Ashley, A *. 

Astor, W.B 

Atkinson, C 

Atkinson, E 

Atwood Sc Colver, Hessrs . 

1877. 1878. 









Digitized by ^OO^ K:^ 

PackagcM receive by the SnUthsauian InsUtutUmf 4^. — Continued. 




1877. 1878. 

IxotviDUALft— Continaed. 

Anstin, Mrs. B. M 

Austin. C. F 

Bainl, Prof. S. F 

BaUev, H. B 

Baker, Prot W. S 


Bancroft. Hon. G 

Bancroft, H. U 

Bannister, H. M 

Barber, E. A 

Barker, Prof. G. F 

Barlois. Hon. F. C 

Barnard, Prof. F. A. P 

Barnard, J. M 

Barnes, lion. \V 

Barnes, Surgeon General 

Barrett, G. H. M 

Bartlett. Prof. W. H. C 

Bassett, H. T 

Boscomb. Prof. J 

Baxter, Dr. J. W 




Bennet. J. G 

Berckmans, J. J 


Bessels, Dr. E 

Beoaey. Prof. C. E 

Bethune, Itev. C.J. 8 

Bigelow, F. H 

BiUings, E 

Binney, W. G 

Bloke. Pro£ W. P 

Bland, T 

Blazins, Professor 

Blod;:ct. L 

Boordman, G. A 

Boehmer, G. H 

Bolander, Doctor 

Bora, Consul C 

Bowditch. Dr. II 

Bowditcb, n. T 

Bowles. G.J 

Bradbrook, S. G 

Bradley, F. A 

Bradley, Judge 

Bradley, F. H 

BradT. 8 

Brendel Dr. F 

Brcvoort, J. C 

Brewer, Dr. T. M 

Broadhead, G. C -. 

Brookl^bv, Professor 

Brooks, M:\j. T. B 

Brown, S 

Brown, S. G 

Bmnet, L'Abb60 

Brash, Prof. J. G 

Buchanan, Doctor 

^chanan, Dr. A 

Bollard, J 

Bar;?en». E 

Bamhara. S. W 

Butler, J.D. 

Botlcr. G. D 

Oanby, W. M 

Copron, Geneml 11 

Carpenter. Piof. S 

Carey, H. C ^ 

Case, L 

Cbalmen). K 

Chamberiain, J. C 

Chandler, jr., S.C.. 

Chandler, Vrof. C. F 

Chandler, Prof. W. H.... 

Charlier. E 

Cfaaae, Prof. P. E 

CbauveMi, Hon. J. P. O. . 

Individuals— Continned. 

Cherry, C 

Clagbom, J. L 

Clarke. Prof. F. W 

Clark, S. F 

Chiypole, E. W 

Cleveland, D 

Clinton, W.G 

Coffin. J. H. C 

Coffin, S. J 

Cohu, Professor 

Comstook, Greneral 

Concdon, T. "W 

Conklin, A 

Conrad, Doctor 

Cook, G. H 

Cook, J. P . 

Cook, 1r., J. P 

Cope,B. D 

Cones, Dr. E 


Craftes, Prof. J. M 

Cresson, E. T 

Cushhig, F. H 

Cutting, H.B 

Dabnev, Rev. Professor.... 

Dale, trof. T. N 

Dall, W.H 

Dalton. Dr. J. C 

Dana,E. S 

Dana, Prof. J. D 

Dana, jr.. Rev. R. H 

Davidson, Prof. G 

Davis, Rear- Admiral C. H . 

Davis, ILE 

Davison, E. F... 

Dawson, Dr. J. "W 

DeaneL Dr. C 

me, C ....!"**.*.'*.'IllI«*.i 

Dobson, James 

Dobson, John 

Dow, Capt J. M 

Downes, J 

Draper, Dr. D 

Draper, Dr. H 

Draper, Prof. J. W 

Draper. L. C 

Dncatcl, Madam 

Eads, J. B 

Eastmim, Prof. J. R 

Eaton, lion. J 

Eaton, William S 

Edwards, H 

Edwards, W 

Egleston, Prof. T 

Efaen, Dr. G ... 

Elder, Dr. W 

EUot, Profc C. W 


Ellinwood, Dr. E. M 

Elliot, Doctor 

Ellis, J. B 

EUis, F. B 

Ellis, Rev. G. E 

En erson. Prof. B 

EmrioDS, Jud.^e 

Endlich, Dr. F. M 

Engelmann, Dr. G 

Ericson. Capt. J 


Farlow, Dr. W. Q 

Farnnarson, R. J 

Farskey, Colonel 

Fav, S 

Ferrell, Prof. "W 

Fields, D. D 

Firth, A 

Fish. Hon. H 

Fisher, Dr. G. J 

Digitized by 



Packages received by the Smithsonian Institution^ ^c — Continued. 

Individuaia— Oozitinned. 

FisTce, W 

Fis8,G.W , 

Pitch, A 

Fitch, G.T 



Force, W. Q 


Foreman, Dr. £ 

Fowler, W.C 

Fremont, (jcneral J 


5abb,I>r. W.M 


Genth, Dr. F. A 

Gibb»,W w 



Gihnan, Prof. D. G . 

Gilpin. Governor W . 
(ioodalL A.G 

Goode, G. B . 



Grant, M^. C. C 

Gray, ProtA 

Greene, Rev. E. L 

Groffory, J.M 

Grote, A.R 

Gnrman, Dr 

Guttenbcrg. G 


Habel, Doctor 

Hac;en,Dr. H. A 

Halderaan, S. S 


Hall, Prof. J 

Hammond, Dr. W. A 

Hanson, P 

Harding, C.L 


Harding. G. TV 

Hare. Prof. H.B 

Harkness, Prof. W 

Harper & Brothers 

Harrington, Prof- M. "W . 
Hartranft Hon. J. F .... 
Hawloy, General J. B . . . 

Hayden,Dr.F V 

Hayes, Dr. J.J 

Heinser, C 

Henry, l*rof. J 

Heizer, J. M 

Herbert, G 

Higgina, E. S 


HilganlProf J.E 


Hinricbs, Prot G 


Hitchcock, Prof, C. H . . . 
Hitchcock, Prot R. D ... 


Holden, Prof E. S 


HoBcv, A 

Holmes, "W.H 


Holraea.N ■.. 


Horsfonl. Prot R N" 


Hovey, Prof. A 

Howe.E C 



Humphreys, General A. A . 


Hunnios, A 

Hunt, Prof. T. S 

1877. 1878. 





IKDIVI0UAL8— Continued. 

Hyatt, Prot A 

Isaacs, S. E. IT 

Jackson, W.H 

Jagger, Bishop 


Jewett, CoL B 

Johnson, J. A 

Johnson, O.C 

Johnson, S.W 

Jones, C.C 



Joorj Dr.J.F 


Joy, Prof: C.N 

Jovce.Dr. R 

Kaiser, Dr.P.D 

Kendall, Prof. O 


Kerr, W.C 



Kingsley, T.S 

Kingslcy.Wf L 

Kingston, Prof G.T 

KirUand, Dr. J. P 


Kiinlg, Doctor 

Konings, Rov. A 


Keren, Kev.V 

Lamphore, A.T 

Landreth & Sons 


Langley, Prot J. P 


Lapham, Dr. 8. G 


Lawrence, lion. "W. B ... 



LeClair, T. S 

LeConte,Dr. J 

LcConte, Prtif. Joseph . . . 

Lee, Admiral & P 


Lees, J. S 

Leidy, Prof J 

Lemmon, J. G 

Leonard. Prof. T. M 

Lesley, Prot J. P 

Lesquereux, Prot L 

Leyman, T 

Lindcrmann, H. R 

Longfellow, H 

Longfellow, F. W 

Longstreth, F. "W 

Loomis, Prof. E 

Lovoring, Prof. J 

Lyman, Dr. B. T 

L>Tnan, Prot C. 8 

Lj-man, T 

McCagg, E. B 

Mocoun, Prot J 

Mai^elsen, Rev. C 

Mullet, J. W 

Manigaalt, G. E 

Marcv, Dr. O 

Marsh, Prot F. A 

Marsh, Prot O. C 

Mason, Prot t). T 

Master, A 


Matthews, G. P 

Mayes, Prot A. M 

Mechan, J. H. M 

Meehan.Dr. T 

Meigs, Dr. J. A 

Mcniam, G. &C 

Meniman, Dr. M 

1877. 1 1878. 

Digitized by V^OO^IC 

JPachagei received hy the Smfheonian Itutituiion^ ^c. — Continued. 


IXDiviDUALS— Contfainod. 

Meyer, J. E 

Michclet, N 

MiU«r, S. A 

Milncr, Mr 

Minot, Profeaaor 

Mltchcl, J. E 

Mitchcli 11 

MitcheU, l>r. S. Weir 

Morgan, Dr. L 

Monnan. A. T 

Mocrw, Prof. G. 8 

Motris, Dr. J.G 

Morse, Dr. E. S 

Morton, Dr. H. H 

Motley, J. L 

Munroe, F. H 

Mans, Rev. B. J 

Myer, Brig. G«n. A. J 

Veomogfn, B 

Newberry, Dr. J. 8 

Newoom u. Prof 8 

Kewton, Prof. H. A 

Kewton, GenemlJ 

Vicholson, W. L 

ITichoa, Prof. R 

JTipher. Prof. F. E 

Kivens, J. F 

ITobui^E. J 

Norttirop, Hon. B. E 

Kortoii, Prof. W. A 

Narton, Prof. C. E 

"Sonne, Prof. J. £ 


OliTer, Prof. J. E 

Olmstead, Rev. L 

Oteea A 

Ordwav, Dr. A 

Oiten-Sacken, Baron R 

Ottesen, Rev. J. A 

Oaterbridge, A. A 

Paarcn, Dr. A. H 

Packanl, Dr. A. 8 

Packard, jr.. Dr. A. 8 

Paine, Dr. M 

Palpey, J. G 

P*rlDC7. Dr.P 

Parkman, F 

Paraona, Prof. T 

Patteraon, Capt. C P 

Peale,Dr. A.C 

Peale, T. R 

Peanon, J , 


Pmkham, Prof. 8. F , 

Peirce, Prof. B 

Perkina, C. C 

Pemr. Dr. A. W 

Peters. Dr. C. H. F 

P«ttenK*n, Dr. F. V 

P«ttit, II 

Philbrick, J. D 

Pfckanl, J. L 

P&ckering, Dr. C 

Pickering, Prof. E. C 

Pierrepomt W. C 

Plnkham. Prof. G. L 

FItkin, DoctOT 

Pwacbe, T 

Pwae, B. P 

Porter. Prof. S. C 

Ponrtalea, L. F. d© 

Powalkv. Dr. C 

Powea'May. J. W 

Poweia. H. A 

Prime, Dr. F 

Prime, T 

Pringle, C. G 

l*ttrat. Dr. H. A 

^ompcUy, Prof! B 

1877. 1878. 

I2CDIVIDUAL0— Continaed. 


Pntnam, F. W 

Putnam, Doctor 

inby. Dr. W. F 

incv, Hon. J 

idolph. B 

Raaamusaen, Rev. P. A . . . 

P.nn. I>r, C... ..- 

liiUrtcM^ l^feaaor , 

ir.dL K. W „,.... 

IM-*. XT.......... 

];<\rr)pi'Hi, J ....,.,,,,**. 

Rt^riohlfi, MiMiM.,. 

R]j>-s. Wiliifltn J 

llJHiatdw*!!. Dr.W- T-,.. 
liliit^wav, R * 

Riii^v, t'. ^'.... :...»'Hii, G . *,,,,, 

RcilmiKitci, KhW 

Hi"«l^'^i'r^ Kpar-AilmLmlJ. 

Roil^-m, Prof, It E 

Jt-n-^wli r A^ R -" 

J>;it?ra, Prof. F ,.,.. 

l:ii^*'M, PjflmV. B-*...- 

l^Hjd, Fnif. D. K.... 

R.K«1, PPftf. 0. X .-, 

I^>si3i(riirt<'^ii, J. O **-.^^- 

Rifrt.'*, A. M ,, - 

v.-: '-U^ J ., 

];irHi. l\ N 

Rutherford, L. M 

Safford, Prof. J 

8afford, Prof. T. H 

Salisbury, Prof. E. E 

Sanborn, F.B. 

Sandfbrd, J.E 

Sands, Rear- Admiral B. F . 

Sargent, C.8 


Sayre, Prof. L. A 


Scbott, C. A 

Schroedcr, Mrs. E 

Schumacher, P 

Schun, Hon.C 

Schuster. M 

Scott. Colonel 

Scudder, S. H 

Sellers, W 

Selwyn. A.R.G , 

Sequard, Dr. C. Brown 

Sovf&LTth, Dr. G 

Shaler, Prof. N. 8 

Sheidy, L. P 

Shugley, J 

Sibley, J. L 

Silliman, Prof. B 

Simon, Prof. W 

Slater, jr., H. N 

Smith, A 

Smith, Alex 

Smith, B. 8 

Smith, Prof. H. L 

Smith, Prof. J. L 

Smith, Prof. S.I 

Smith, Prof. 8 

Smith, W.H 

Snow, Dr.E 

Soldan, F. P 

Squler, E. G 

Stallo, Judge F 

Stanley, A. & F 

Steams, R. E.C 


Steere, Prof. J. B 

Sterling, C .* 

Stevenson, J. J 

Stewardson, T 

Stewart, E. F 

Stirling, C 

1877. 1878. 



Digitized by V^OO^ IC 


Packages reodved by the Smithsonian InstUutUnif ^ — Continued. 

1877. 1878. 

1877. 1878. 

iKDrvTDUALS— Continued. 

Stockwell, J. W . 

Stono, Dr. () 

Stover, Prof. F... 

?;;,. .1.. 

8ii! kij^v U S , 

fiuLkllij^Ti'. 1'rml'. Gr. C 

Swwi. E, O . , 

Tuft. li.C 

Tavlor, Prof, W.B 

Tbtmnkn^ Pitif C 

Tlitttiiii.«, S. H 

Thc^niiioii. J. n , 

TlifTinpiWtL, Dr. J. II 

Tt)dd,l}. i* 

Timor, Dn J. M 

Tru wbr I rt i^r , I "t of. J. P , 

TrowUriai:*', I'rof. W. P 

TratptinU, Uu J. H 

TrvcituO. W 

Tiiv^k»*rrrn4ii, Prof. E 

T^nKi lt<'v. Hr 

T wluliiEi, r^ijf. A. C 

TvliT, .S .. 

XThhr, Vmt. P. R 

Vsn il*?r Wt^vrli. Prof. P. H. 

Tan Natui", Pnif. A 

Ta*oir, HtG 

Vfirnll Prar K. A 

Wa<3kiitmlb, C , 

Waite. Jmlp' 

Walootl^ C D 

WnlkiT, I)r, Ls 

Wnlki'rp PrftJ. F. A 

Walkir.J . 

WiiJt"ti» J. J 

Wnnl, VmlA. H 

T\":in', Mrfl. ^[. G 

Wjirii)-, iUA. J^ E 

Wal>ii-n, 1'hi1 T. C 

TVaEi.-n. Pt"» S 

Wi.Hlrn, ^V. ii 

T\'d5iti4. Pi^f J. C 


Wella, J... 

Wells, W. H 


WeiTier, Prof. A 

Weston, H. C 

Wheatley. Prof. C. M 

Wheeler, Lieut. G. M 

Whethorby, Prof. A. G 

White, Dr.C. A 

White, Dr. M.C. 

Whiting, Commodore W. B. 

Whitney, Prof. J. D 

Whitney, Prof. W. D 

Whittler, J.G 

Wibbe, Prof. H 

Wickham, W. H 

Wigglesworth, B 

Wilder. Prol B. G 

Willey, H 

Willey, O. S 

Williamson, S 

Wilson, J. M 

WincheU, Prof. A 

Winchell, Prof. N. H 

Wines, Bev. D 

Wing, E 


Wooil, W 

Wordrow, Rev. Professor... 

Woodward, Dr. J. J 

Woolsov, Prof. D 

Woi-then, Prol A. H 

Wright, Prof. A. M 

Wri-ht, Prof. A. W 

Wright, Prof. R 

Wurtz, H 

Wyman, M 

Yamall, Prof. M 

Yarrow, Dr. H. C 

Young, Prof. C. A 

Young, C. B 

Zcledon, Prof. M 







Total atldresses of inRtitntions 

Total addresses of individuals 


Total number of paroels to institutions 
Total number df paroels to individuals. 



392 I 
374 I 

766 i 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 






Shipping agents. 

Distribating agents. 


Compagnio G<}n6rale Tmnoatlantiqno . Commission FTan9aiso(lc8Echange« 

Argpntine Rppnblic 

Australia. (Sti* New South 
"Wales, New Zealand, 
Queensland, South Ans- 
l3<ilia, Tasmaniis Vic- 


Belgium . 


(L. do Bvbian), New York. 

Intemationaux, Paris. 

£d. F. Davison, New York ' Museo publico, Buenos Aires. 


Cape Colonies.. 

Central America. (See 
Costa Bica, Guatemala.) 



North German Lloyd, Now York and 

White Cross Line of Antwerp (Funoh, 
Etlyo&Co.), New York. 

Joseph S. Spinney, New York 

Charles Macknll, vice-consul, Balti- 
more, Merchants' Lino of Steamers 
(B. R. Borhmd), New York. 

New York, Alexandria, Washington, 
and Georgetown ste.imers. 

Baltimore and Ohio Bailroad foreign 
freight department. 

Colombia. UnitedStatesof. : 

Costa Bica., 

Denmark . 

Ecuador . 


H. R. Grace & Co., New York 

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad foreign 

freisht di'partmcnt. 
Pacitiu Mail Steamship Company, 

New York. 

Pacific Mall Steamship Company 

Ha>-ana and West Indian Express 

(Carrington & Co.), New York. 
Hamburg- Steam Packet 

Company (Kunhardt &, Co.), New 

A.Floro8. New York , 



Great Britain . 



Guiana, British . 
Gnianx^ Dutch.. 


Holland. (See Netherlands) 

8. L. Merchant &. Co., New York 

Abs, Wybur^j, Wnsa and Finland 
Steam Navi«;ation Company, Hull. 

Compagnic Gen6rale Transatlantiquo 
(L. de Bebian), N*^w York.* Boyd 
&, Hincken, New York. 

North German Lloyd (Oelrichs & Co., 
New York; Schimiacher & Co., Bal- 

Cunard Line (C. G. Francklyn), New 
York. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
foreign freight department. 

Consul D. W. BotassL Now York 

Pacific Mail Steamship Company, 
New York. 

Thomas F. Bixby & Co., Boston 

tlas Steamship Con 
wood & Co.), New 

Atlas Steamshi}> Company (Pim, For- 


Jamaica . 
Japan ... 





Netherlands . 

New South Wales . 
New Zealand 

Hamburg -American Steam Packet 
Company (Kunhardt & Co.), Now 

Anchor Steamship Line (Henderson 
& Bro.), New York. 

PaoiJQc MaU St^unship Company, New 
York. Japanese consuls in Now 
York and San Francisco. 

American Colonization Society, Wash- 

JuanfN Navarro, consul, New York.. 
Netherland- American Steamship 

Navigation Company (H. Cazaux), 

Now York. 
R. W. Cameron Sc Co., New York ... 

R. W. Cameron &Co., New York 

Dr. Felix Fliigcl, Leipzig. 

Commission Beige d'EcIianges In- 

temationaux. lirusmls. 
University, Chunnisaca. 
Institute Historieo, Geografioo y 

Ethnografico, Rio Jauem>. 

Geological Survey of Canada, Mon- 
William Wesley, London. 

Fniversidad, Santiago. 
WiUiam Wesley, London. 

Sociedad de Naturalistas, Bogota. 

Fniversitv, San Joa6. 
Prof. F. :f oey, Havana. 

Jlongelige Dansko Yidenskabemes 

Longelige Dansko videi 
Sclskab, Copenhagen. 

Observatorio del Colegio Nacional, 

Institut Egypticn, Alexandria. 

Commission Fran<;alse desEchangea 
Intemationaux, Paris. 

Dr. Felix Fliigel, Leipzig. 
William Wesley, London. 

Sociedad Economioa de Amigos del 

Pais. Guatemala. 
Queen s College. Georgetown. 
Surinaamscho Kolouiaalo Biblio* 

thcek, Paramnribo. 
S6cr6taire de I'Etat dos Relations 

Ext6rieures, Port-au-Prinoo. 

Kongeligo Danske Tidenskabomea 
Selskal), Copeuhngen. 

William Wesley. London. 
Ulrico Hoepli, Milauo. 

Royal Society of Arts. Kingston. 
Imperial University, Toklu. 

Genootsoh/ip van KunstA'U c 
tenschapiH'n, IbiUivia. 

William Wrulev. London. 
Museo Nnrlonul M''^'*"-^ , 
Buniau HrlruHUMU*; {VxuC — 

BauinhiuM'O. lUiUro- W- 

Mull.r. AiM»l*«*l<*'"- . _r , 
RovalH«M'l.'l> sy\ Now H«as!t V*. . 

rfvdn«'>. , ,. <«- -~ 

Parlli»uioiittti:i Library, ^^ — ^ 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 





Shipping ag:eDts. 

Distributing agents. 



Philippine Islands . 




Sandwich Islands . 

South Australia .. 





Venezuela . 


"West Indict . 

Hamburg -Amorican Steam Packet 
Gompiwy (Knnhardt Sl Co.), Now 

Joseph S. Spinner, New York 

SponiHh consul, San Francisco (of- 

Consul Gnstav Amsink, New York . . , 

Hon. A. McAllister, Queensland de- 
imrtment, London. 

Wm. Hopes & Co., New York 

Consul Soveranoe, San Frsoicisco 

R. W. Cameron & Co., New York ... 
Spanish consul. New York 

Hamburg •American Steam Packet 
Company (Kunhaidt Sl Co.), New 

North Grerman Lloyd (Schumacher &, 
Co.), Baltimore. Consul von Hey- 
man, Bremen. 

J. Chiysoveloui & CJo., Liverpool 

Crown agents for the colonies, Lon- 

Turkisfa Minister, Washington . . 
C G. de Garmendia, New York. . 

R. W. Cameron & Co., New York .... 
Thomas Dennison, New York (for 

Antigua). H. B. Bailey, New York. 

Wilson Sl Asmus(for Turks Ishinds). 

Thomas Bland, New York. 
See also Cuba, Jamaica, HaytL 

Kongelige Norske Frederiks Uni* 
Tersitet, Christianiii. 

BibUoteca Nacional, Lima. 

Royal Economical Society, Manila. 

Ecola Polytechnica, Lisbon. 

Government Meteorological Ob* 
serv^atory, Brisbane. 

L. Watkins & Co., St Petersburg. 

Royal Hawaiian Agricultural So- 
ciety, Honolulu. 

Astronomical Observatory, Ada* 

Real Aoademia do Cicncias, Ma* 

Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps Ak* 

Bondes Canzlei, Bern. 

Ro3ral Society of Tasmania, Ho- 

Scientific Association, Port of 


Socde Ciencias Fisicas y Natn- 

rales, Caracas. 
Publio Library, Mdboume. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



forty-flftn coxqress, session ii. 

Public Resolution— No. 6. 

JOINT RESOLUTION fiUing an existing vacancy in the Board of Regents of the 

Smithsonian Institution. 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Bepresentativm of the United States 
of America in Congress assembledj That the existing vacancy in t he Boani 
of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, of the cla^s atiier than mem- 
bers of Congress, shaU be filled by the appointment of Noae Poeteii, 
of Connecticut, in place of James D. Dana, resigned. 

Approved, January 26, 1878. 

Pltilic Resolution— No. 15. 

JOINT RESOLUTION filling an existing Taoaooy in the Board of Regents of tiao 

Smithsonian Institution. 

Resolved by tlie Senate and House of Representatives of the United *%iff^ 
of America in Oongress assembled j That the existing vacancy in tholkiiinl 
of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, of the cla^.^ other than nieni- 
bers of Congress, shall be filled by the appointment of Willi a:« T. 
Sherman, of the city of Washington, in place of George Dancropt, 
of said city, resigned. 

Appraved, March 25, 1878. 

Forty-fifth Congress, Session III, 

Chapter 21. 

AN ACT authorizing the ChanceUor of the Smithsonian InstitnttoD to apjioinJ nn Act- 
ing Secretary in certain cases. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of Amerioa in Congress assemhledy That in the ease of the de^tlii 
resignation, sickness, or absence of the Secretory of the Smith^^onJaii 
Institution, the Chancellor thereof shall be, and he is liercliy, authca^ 
ized to appoint some person as Acting Secretary, who for Ww time beW 
shall be clothed with all the powers and duties whith >*y law are**** 
volved upon the Secretary, and he shall hold^said poisition uutil iuirf*^'* 
tion of Secretary shall be duly made, or until flie StK!i\ taiy lihi^ ^ 
restored to his health, or, if absent^ shall return and t titer wiwn *•* ^ 
duties of his office. 

Approved, Januarv 2d. 1879. ^ r^ T 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


YEAR 1878. 

Tlie Ex<*cut!ve Commit teo of the Board of Eegents of the Smithson- 
ian Institution respectftiUy submit the following report in relation to the 
funds of tht Itistitiition, tlie appropriations by Congress for the support 
of the Xatinnal Museum, the receipts and expenditures for both the 
Iiisiitiitiou imd the Utluseiiin for the year 1878, and the estimates for the 
year 1870: 

*Statefnmt of the eondlthn of the funds at the beginning of the year 1879. 

The amount originally received as the bequest of James 
Smithson, of England, deposited in the Treasury of the 
United States, in accordance with the act of Congress of 
August 10, 1846 $515,169 00 

Eesiduary legacy of Smithson, received in 1865, deposited 
in the Treasury of the United States, in accordance with 
the act of Congress of February 8, 1867 26,210 63 

Total bequest of Smithson $541,379 63 

Amount deposited in the Treasury of the United States as 
authorized by act of Congress, February 8, 1867, derived 
from savings of income and increase in value of invest- 
ments 108, 620 37 

Amount of the bequest of James Bamilton, of Carlisle, Pa., 

February 24,1874 1,000 00 

Total permanent Smithson fund in the United States 
Treasurj^, bearing interest at 6 per cent., payable 

semi-annually in gold $651, 000 00 

In addition to the above, there remains of the extra ftmd, 
from savings, &c, in Virginia bonds and certificates, viz : 

Consolidated bonds $58,700 00 

Deferred certificates 29,375 07 

Fractional certificate 50 13 

Total 88, 125 20 

Valued January, 1879, at 34,000 00 

Also, the cash balance in the United Stalpes Treasury 
at the beginning of the year 1879 19,632 57 

Total Smithson funds, January 8, 1879 $704, 632 57 


Digitized by V^OO^ 1(^ 



Interest on $660,000, for the year 1878, at 6 per cent., gold . $39, 000 00 

Premium on gold interest, Jaly 1, 1878, at J ^er cent 97 50 

Interest on Virginia bonds: 

Sale of coupons by Riggs & Co., for January 1 and July 

1, 1878, for $3,522 (December 9, 1878) at 78-79 2, 776 34 

Interest on Hamilton fund of $1,000 for the year 

1878 $60 00 

Premium on gold, July 1, 1878, at J per cent. . 15 

60 15 

Eepayment by Library of Congress : 

For advances made for international exchanges in 1877 . 1, 781 00 

Balance on hand at the beginning of 1878 25, 083 90 

• Total receipts for the year 1878 $68,798 80 


Building, furniture, and fixtures $4, 712 72 

General expenses 18, 136 42 

Publications, researches, and explorations 15, 732 92 

International literary and scientific exchanges. 10, 250 41 

GaUery of art 333 85 

$49, 166 32 

Cash balance, January 7, 1879 $19, 632 57 


Eeceived from James Hamilton, February 24, 1874, and de- 
posited with the Smithson fund in the Treasury of the 
United States $1,000 00 

Interest received fix)m February 24, 1874, to December 31, 

1878 - 306 32 

Appropriated in 1876 for exploration of cave near Carlisle, 
Pa 8150 00 

Appropriated in 1878 for exploration of steatite 

quarry in Virginia 156 32 

306 32 

Statement of expenditures in 1878, in detail, 


Kepairs and improvements $4, 346 43 

Furniture and fixtures 366 29 

Digitized by V^Ji 




Meetings of the Board $399 26 

Lighting the building 260 80 

Heating the building 693 37 

Postage and telegraphing 395 64 

Stationery 797 96 

Incidentals (ice, hauling, insurance, &c.) 642 03 

Salaries (including allowance to family of Profes- 
sor Henry, $2,812.60) 14,371 96 

Extra clerk hire and labor 200 00 

Books and periodicals 475 61 

$18, 136 42 


Smithsonian Contributions to Kiiowledge $6, 623 14 

Miscellaneous Collections 7,432 48 

Annual Keport 942 20 

Eesearches 1, 032 13 

Apparatus 121 b^ 

Laboratory ; 86 21 

Explorations 696 20 

16,732 92 

Literary and scientific exchanges * 10, 250 41 

Gallery ofart 333 85 

849, 166 32 

A larger expenditure for repairs of the building than was anticipated 
was made necessary by a violent and destructive storm which visited 
Washington last summer by which the finials or caps on some of the tow- 
ers, and several hundred slates from the roo^ were blown off, the light- 
ning-rods detached, and much other damage done to the exterior of the 
building. Some alterations in the interior of the east wing have been 
made also. 

The expenses attending "international exchanges" have steadily in- 
creased, until they npw absorb about one-fourth of the entire income of 
the Institution. It has, therefore, in accordance with authority given 
by the Board of Eegents, been decided to make a charge of five cents 
a pound on all packages received or sent by the government depart- 
ments, a measure rendered necessary on account of the great increase 
in bulk of the public documents sent by them. 


The Institution has made temporary advances during tlie year fbr 
freight, &c., the repayment of which, with the amount received from 

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sales of the publications of the Institution, have been deducted from 
the exi)enditures for the year. These credits have been as foUows : 

Publications, sales $261 83 

Exchanges, repayments for freight 263 28 

Books, repayment ... V 30 00 

(Jallery of art, repayment 14 65 

Postage, repayment 3 00 

Incidentals, repayment 2 00 

Total inl878 $574 76 


The following are the estimates of receipts by the Institution for the 
year 1879, and the appropriations required for carrying on its opera- 
tions during the same period : 

Esiimaied receipts. 

Interest on the permanent fund, receivable July 1, 1879, 

and January 1, 1880 $39,000 00 

Interest on the Hamilton fund for 1879 60 00 

Sale of Virginia coupons due January 1, 1879, and July 1, 
1879 2,500 00 

41,560 00 
Estimated appropriations^ 

For building $2,000 00 

For general expenses 14,000 00 

For publications and researches 14,000 00 

For exchanges , 10,000 00 

For books and apparatus 1,000 00 

For contingencies 560 00 

41,560 00 

The death of Professor Henry, the Secretary of the Institution, on 
the 13th of May, 1878, rendered necessary a special examination of the 
accounts up to that date by the Executive Committee, who found that, 
of the amount on hand at the beginning of the year 1878 ($25,083.90), 
there had been expended under his supervision and direction the sum 
of $16,560.92, every cent of which was accounted for by vouchers and 
entries in the usual books of account, with his characteristic precision 
and care. The balance ($8,522.98) was transferred, on the 28th of May, 
1878, by the Treasurer of the United States, to the credit of the new 
Secretary of the Institution, Prof. Spencer F. Baird, in whose name the 
account of the Institution is now kept. 

S. Mis. 59 9 Cc^c^nAo 

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The following appropriations were made by Congress in 1878 for the 

" National Museum." • 

" For preservation and care of the collections of the Na- 
tional Museum^ including those from the International 
Exhibition of 1876," for the fiscal year ending June 30, 
1879 $18,000 00 

" For expenses of making up into sets, for distribution to 
institutions of learning and museums, the duplicate 
c»res, minerals, and objects of natural history belonging 
to the United States," for the fiscal year ending June 
30,1879 6,000 00 

23,000 00 
Armory Building. — "For expense of watching and storage 
of articles belonging to the United States, including 
those transferred from the International Exhibition of 
1876," for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879 2, 500 00 

25,500 00 

The following statement gives the receipts and expenditures of the 
National Museum during the year 1878 : 


Balance of appropriation for "preservation 
of collections," January 1, 1878 $11, 323 21 

Balance of appropriation for "Armory," Jan- 
uary 1, 1878 1,488 25 

Balance of appropriation "National Museum" 
deficiency bill, January 1, 1878 2, 040 90 

One half of the appropriation for "preserva- 
tion of collections " and " distribution of du- 
plicates," for year ending June 30, 1879 ... 11, 500 00 

One half of the appropriation for " Armory 
building," for year ending June 30, 1879 ... 1, 250 00 

Total receipts $27,602 36 


First quarter of 1878, Jan-^ ?^!^^*i^°- 

-^-March : l^sScy::; 

Second quarter of 1878,^^^^^^**^^- 

$6,338 55 

897 24 

1, 914 18 

4,984 66 
591 01 
126 72 

• Statutes of the United States, 1877-78, page 233.. ^ 

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Third quarter of 1878, July- ( Preservation. . $5, 423 61 
September ( Armory 643 78 

Fourth quarter of 1878, Octo- i Preservation . . 6, 187 00 
ber-December \ Armory 684 08 

Total expenditures $27,781 82 

The balance on hand for the purposes of the Museum for the remain- 
ing six months of the fiscal year ending 30th June, 1870, is $12,500,545 
of which $11,380.30 belong to the "preservation^ account, and $1,171.24 
to the " Armory." 

On the 27th of September, 1877, a commission was appointed by the 
President to examine the public buildings and report what additional 
means should be provided to secure them from destruction or injury by 
fire. This commission consisted of Col. Thomas L. Casey, United States 
Engineers, Commissioner of Public Buildings; Mr. Clark, Architect of 
the Capitol, and Mr. Hill, Architect of the Treasury. This Commission 
visited and inspected the Smithsonian Institution, and made the follow- 
ing report in regard to it, which was submitted to Congress on the 10th 
of December, 1877 : • 

" Smithsoxian Institution. — AU ihe combustible materials used iij, the construc- 
tion of the museum portion of the building should be removed and the parts renewed 
of fire-proof construction, and the openings connected with other parts of the building 
should be supplied with fire-proof doors." 

An estimate has been submitted to Congress by the Hon. Secretary of 
the Interior for an appropriation of $3,000 to provide additional security 
against fire in the Smithsonian building for the government collections, 
in accordance with the foregoing report. 

All payments on account of the " !N"ational Museum ^ are made by the 
disbursing-officer of the Department of the Interior on the presentation 
of the usual vouchers, approved by the Secretary of the Smithsonian 


The Executive Committee have examined 755 vouchers for payments 
made fix)m the Smithson income during the year 1878, and 578 vouchers 
for payments made from appropriations by Congress for the National 
Museum, making a total of 1,333 vouchers. All these vouchers bear the 
approval of the Secretary of the Institution, and a certificate that the 
materials and services charged were applied to the purposes of the 
Institution. , 

The committee have also examined the account books of the National 
Museum, and find the balance as before stated, viz, $12,560.54, to cor- 
respond with the certificates of the disbursing-officer of the Department 
of the Interior. 

*Ex, Doc. No. 10, Forty-fifth Congresu, Secoud session, House of Representati^ 

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The quarterly accoante-current, bank-book, check-book, and journal 
of the Institution have been examined and found to be correct, and show 
a balance to the credit of the Institution on the 8th of January, 1879, in 
the hands of the Treasurer of the United States, of $19,632.57, available 
for the current operations of the Institution. 
Bespectfiilly submitted. 

Executive Committee^ Smithsonian Institution. 
WASHmaTON, January 13, 1879. 

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Washington, D. C, JUay 13, 1878. 
I A meeting of the Board of Begents of the Smithsonian Institution was 
held this day at the Institution, at 8 o'clock p. m., under the following 

Smithsonian Institution, 

May 13, 1878. 
The Eegents of the Smithsonian Institution are requested to meet at 
the Smithsonian building at 8 o'clock this Monday evening, to make suit- 
able arrangements for the obsequies of Prof. Joseph Henry, whose 
decease occurred at 12.10 o'clock this afternoon. 
By order of— 

M. B. WAITE, Chancellor. 

Present, the Chancellor — Chief Justice Waite, Hon. H. Hamlin, Hon. 
A. A. Sargent, Hon. B. E. Withers, Hon. H. Clymer, Hon. J. A. Gar- 
field, Hon. Peter Parker, General W. T. Sherman. 

The Chancellor made the following remarks : 

My Bbethben op the Boabd of Begents: I have asked you 
to come together this evening not to take action upon the great loss our 
Institution has sustained, but to consult as to what may best be done to 
pay honor to all that is mortal of the great and good man who, conceiv- 
ing what Smithson willed, has devoted his life to making the bequest of 
oar benefactor what he wished it to be, an instrument ^^ for the increase 
and diffusion of knowledge among men." 

The Chancellor stated that he understood that the family of Professor 
Henry had expressed the wish that the Board of Begents should make 
all the arrangements for the funeral. 

Several of the Begents expressed their opinion that this was not the 
appropriate time to eulogize the deceased, as another and full meeting 
of the Board should be called for that purpose. 

The following resolutions were adopted : 

Resolved, That the Chancellor be directed to notify the President of 
the United States and his Cabinet, the Supreme Court of the United 
States, the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, the two houses of 
Congress, the General of the Army, the Admiral of the Navy, the Diplo- 
matic Corps, the Light-House Board, the National Academy of Sciences, 
the Washington Philosophical Society, and other organizations with 


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which he was connected, of the death of Prof. Joseph Henry, and to in- 
vite them to attend his funeral. 

Eesolvedy That the ftineral take place on Thursday, 16th May, at the 
New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, at 4.30 o^clock p. m. 

Eesolvedy That the Eegents meet at the Institution on Thursday next 
at 4 o'clock p. m. to attend the funeral in a body. 

Resolved, That a committee, consisting of General Shennan, Hon. 
Peter Parker, and Prof. S. F. Baird, Assistant Secretary of the Institu- 
tion, be apx>ointed to make arrangements for the funeral ceremonies. 

Resolved, That a meeting of the Board of Regents be held on Friday 
next, 17th May, at 10 o'clock, a. m. for the purpose of transacting such 
business as may come before it. 

The Board then a4Joumed. 

Washington, D. C, May 17, 1878. 

A meeting of the Board of Eegents of the Smithsonian Institution 
was held this day at 10 o'clock a. m. 

Present, the Chancellor — Chief Justice Waite, Hon. H. Hamlin, Hon. 
A. A. Sargent, Hon. R. E. Withers, Hon. H. Clymer, Hon. J. A. Gar- 
field, Rev. Dr. John Maclean, Hon. Peter Parker, Dr. Asa Gray, Gen- 
eral W. T. Sherman, President Noah Porter. , 

General Garfield was requested to act as secretary. 

At the request of the Chancellor, Rev. Dr. Maclean led in prayer 
for Divine guidance of the Regents in their present deliberations. 

The following resolutions were then adopted: 

1. Resolved, That the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution hereby 
express their profound sorrow at the death of Prof. Joseph Henry, 
late Secretary of this Institution, and tender to the family of the de- 
ceased their sympathy for their great and irreparable loss. 

2. Resolved, That in Consideration of the long-continued, faithful, and 
unselfish services of Joseph Henry, our late Secretary, there be paid to 
his widow the same sum to which he would have been entitled, as sal- 
ary, for the remainder of this year, and that the Secretary be directed 
to make payment to her for the amount thereof monthly. 

3. Resolved, That Mrs. Henry be informed of this action of the Board, 
and the desire of the Regents that she will continue the occupancy of 
the apartments now in her use for such period, during the remainder of 
this year, as may suit her convenience. 

4. Resolved, That a committee be appointed who shall prepare and 
submit to this Board at its next annual meeting a sketch of the life, 
character, and public services of the late lamented Secretary, which 
shaU be entered upon the records. 

5. Resolved, That the Executive Committoo of the Board be requested 
to make arrangements for a public commemoration in honor of the late 
Secretary of the Institution, of such a character and at such a time as 
they may determine. 

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The Chancellor appointed as the special committee under the fourth 
resdotion^ President Porter, Dr. Gray, and Dr. Maclean. 

On moti0n, it was resolved to consider the subject of election to flU 
ttie vacancy in the office of Secretary of the Institution. 

Dr. Parker urged the propriety of deferring the election of Secretary 
to a later meeting, as it might appear precipitate to elect now. 

Senator Hamlin thought the Board ought to proceed at once to elect 
a Secretary. To delay would be to invite great contention for the 

Senator Withers tiiought the discussion should be confined to the 
question of postponement. 

Dr. Parker then moved tiiat the appointment of a permanent Secre- 
tary be i)ostponed until the next annual meeting in January, and sug- 
gested that the Assistant Secretary might be invested with power to 
perform all the functions of Secretary during the interim. 

Dr. Maclean said that when President Burr, of Princeton, died, his 
successor. President Edwards, was elected the fourth day after. He 
thought prompt action the wisest, and advocated the election of Pro- 
fessoT Baird. 

Mr. Clymer read the statute, and insisted that the Board was legally 
bound to elect a Secretary. "No funds could be drawn nor payments 
made by any other officer, and an ad inteiHm appointment was not pro- 
vided for by the law of organization. 

General Garfield suggested to Dr. Parker that he withdraw his mo- 
tion, and that the Board proceed to elect, so that action might be taken 
of an affirmative rather than of a negative character. 

President Porter expressed the opinion that the Board could elect a 
Secretary pro tempore. 

Dr. Parker then withdrew his motion 5 and the construction of the 
statute by Mr. Clymer was agreed to by the majority of the Board. 

Mr. Clymer moved to proceed to the election of a Secretary 3 which 
was agreed to. 

Hie Chancellor appointed Mr. Sargent and Mr. Clymer as tellers. 

The vote was then taken by ballot, and the tellers reported that eleven 
ballotfi were cast, all of which were for Spencer Fullerton Baird. 

Messrs. Sargent and Clymer were appointed a committee to wait upon 
Professor Baird and inform him of his election, and invite him to attend 
the meeting of the Board. 

The committee discharged this duty; and at half past eleven o'clock 
a. m. introduced the Secretary-elect to the Eegent«. 

The Chancellor then formally announced to Professor Baird his unani- 
mous election as Secretary. 

Professor Baird made a brief acknowledgment of the honor con- 
ferred upon him, and stated that he would endeavor to discharge his 
daties faithfully and in accordance with the views of his lamented pre- 

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On motion, it was 

Resolved^ That the Chancellor prepare a suitable notice of the death 
of Professor Henry, to be sent to foreign establishments in correspond- 
ence with the Institution, and also notifying them of the election of Pro- 
fessor Baird as Secretary. 

The Chancellor stated that the resignation of Mr. Bancroft had 
occasioned a vacancy in the Executive Committee, and, on motion, it 

Resolved^ That the vacancy in the Executive Committee be filled by 
the election of Ceneral Sherman. 

The Board then adjourned sirie die. 

Agreeably to the resolution of the Board, the Chancellor of the Insti- 
tution, on behalf of the Eegents, prepared the following circulars, which 
were promptly distributed to the correspondents of the Institution in all 
parts of the world : 

"Smithsonian Institution, 
« WmUngton^ D. C, May 14, 1878. 

" On behalf of the Regents of the Smithsonian Jnstitution, it becomes 
my mournful duty to announce the death of the Secretary and Director 
of the Institution, Joseph Henry, LL. D., which occurred in this city on 
Monday, May 13, at 12.10 o'clock p. m. 

"Professor Henry was born in Albany, in the State of New York, De- 
cember 17, 1799. He became professor of mathematics in the Albany 
Academy in 1826 ; professor of natural philosophy in the College of 
New Jersey, at Princeton, in 1832, and was elected the first Secretary 
and Director of the Smithsonian Institution in 1846. 

" He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws fix)m Union Col- 
lege in 1829, and from Harvard University in 1851. 

" He was president of the American Association for the Advancement 
of Science in 1849; was chosen president of the United States N'ational 
Academy of Sciences in 1868 ; president of the Philosophical Society 
of Washington in 1871, and Chairman of the Light-House Board of the 
United States in the same year; the last three positions he continued 
to fill until his death. 

"Professor Henry made contributions to^cience in electricity, electro- 
magnetism, meteorology, capillarity, acoustics, and in other branches of 
physics ; he published valuable memoirs in the transactions of various 
learned societies of which he was a member, and devoted thirty-two 
years of his life to making the Smithsonian Institution what its founder 
intended it to be, an efficient instrument for the " increase and diffusion 
of knowledge among men.'' 

^^ Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution. 

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"Smithsonian Institution, 
^^Waahinfftony D. 0., May 17, 1878. 
"At a special meeting of the Board of Eegents of the Smithsonian 
Institation, held this day. Prof. Spencer Fnllerton Baird, for many 
years the assistant secretary of the Institution, was duly elected as the 
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to succeed the late Prof. Joseph 

"M. R. WAITE, 
^^Cha/ncellor of the Smiihsonicm Institution.^ 

Washington, D. C, January 16, 1879. 

A meeting of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 
was held this day in the Regents' room, at 10 o'clock a. m. 

Present, the Chancellor — Chief Justice Waite ; Hon. W. A. Wheeler, 
Vice-President of the United States, Hon. A. A. Sargent, Hon. R. E. 
Withers, Hon. J. A. Oarfield, Hon. H. Clymer, Dr. J. Maclean, Dr. A, 
Gray, Dr. H. Copi)6e, Hon. Peter Parker, President Porter, General Sher- 
man, and the Secretary, Professor Baird. 

An excuse was received from Hon. H. Hamlin for non-attendance, his 
absence being occasioned by his appointment by the Senate on a special 
committee to accompany the remains to Texas of Hon. G. Schleicher, a 
deceased member of Congress. 

The minutes gf the last meeting were read and approved. 

The following communication from Mrs. Henry was laid before the 
Board by the Chancellor : 

Hon. M. R. Waite, 

Chief Justice of the United States, 

Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution : 

Mt Dear Sib: In my great affliction it is consoling to receive from 
friends tributes of Sjrmpathy and testimonials of respect for my late 
husband. I feel very deeply the kind consideration of the Board of 
Regents in their official capacity. Permit me, through you, to express 
to them the heartfelt thanks of my children and myself for the Uberality 
extended to us and the friU appreciation of Mr. Henry's character and 
labors while connected with the Institution, and for the public testi- 
monials of respect and honor to his memory. 

With my best wishes for the continued prosperity of the Institution, 
believe me yours, resi)ectfully, 


Washington, January 15, 1879. 

On motion of General Garfield, it was — 

Resolved, That the letter of Mrs. Henry be placed in the files of the 
Institution, and entered in the journal of the Board. 

The Secretary, Professor Baird, presented a statement of the financial 
condition of the Institution for the year 1878, which for convenience of 
reference he had printed. 

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Dr. Parker, in behalf of the Execittive CJommittee, presented the an- 
nual report of receipts, exi)enditufes, estimates, &c., which at his request 
was read by General Sherman. 

On motion of Mr. Withers, the report was adopted. 

Dr. Parker, in behalf of the Executive Committee, presented a report 
in relation to the duty imi>osed on them by the fifth resolution of tlie 
Board of Eegents, adopted at the meeting of May 17, 1878, " to make 
arrangements for a public commemoration in honor of the late Secre- 
tary of the Institution.'' The committee had held numerous meetings, 
the minutes of which were read, and the arrangements had finally been 
made as follows : 

The exercises will be held in the Hall of the House of Bepresentatives 
on Thursday evening, 16th of January, 1879. 

The Vice-President of the United States, supported by the Speaker 
of the House, will preside on this occasion, and the Senate and House 
will take part in the exercises. 

1. Opening prayer by Bev. Dr. McOosh, President (rf Princeton Col- 

2. Address by Hon. H. Hamlin, of the United States Senate. 

3. Address by Hon. B. E. Withers, of the United States Senate. 

4. Address by Prof. Asa Gray, of Harvard University. 

5. Address by Prof. W. B. Bogers, of Boston. 

6. Address by Hon. Jas. A. Garfield, of the Hous? of Bepresenta* 

7. Address by Hon. S. S. Cox, of the House of Bepresentatives. 

8. Address by General W. T. Sherman. 

9. Concluding prayer by Bev. Dr. Sunderland, Chaplain of the Senate. 

By authority of the Speaker of the House, reserved seats will be pro- 
vided on the floor of the House for the following bodies with which Pro- 
fessor Henry was associated : 

1. The Begents of the Smithsonian Institution and the orators of the 
evening, who will meet in the room of the Speaker of the House. 

2. The National Academy of Sciences. 

3. The Washington Philosophical Society. 

4. The Light-House Board, who will meet in the room of the Commit- 
tee of Ways and Means. 

5. The Alumni Association of Princeton College. 

6. The Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. 

7. The Washington Monument Association, who will meet in the room 
of the Committee on Appropriations. 

On motion of Mr. Sargent, the action of the committee was approved. 

Ou motion of General Garfield, it was — 

Resolved^ That the Board of Begents assemble on Thursday evening 
next at half past seven o'clock, in the Speaker's room at the Capitol, to 
proceed in a body to attend the exercises in the Hall of the House of 
Bepresentatives in honor of the memory of Professor Henry. 

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On motion of General Garfield, it was — 

Besolvedy That the Chancellor be empowered to act for the Board of 
Regents in making the final arrangements for the memorial exercises. 

President Porter, from the special commitl!ee appointed at the last 
meeting, under the fourth resolution adopted by the Board, "to prepare 
a sketch of the life, character, and public services of Professor Henry," 
made a report that Dr. Gray had been selected by the committee to pre- 
pare the eulogy on behalf of the Board of Eegents, and that it would 
form part of the exercises at the public commemoration at the Capitol. 

Dr. Gray remarked that he had only recently been informed of his 
appointment to i)erform the service required, but that he had prepared 
a pai>er, which he would now present to the Board.* He had been limited 
by the committee to thirty minutes, but had arranged with Professor 
Eogers so that both should only occupy an hour. He would, however, 
insert details and documents in notes which could be printed with the 

On motion of General Garfield, Dr. Gray was requested, as the repre- 
sentative of the Board of Regents, to make his address as full and com- 
plete as x>ossible. 

General Garfield called attention to the fact that the increased busi- 
ness of the Institution had made it necessary to take the rooms in the 
east wing, formerly occupied by Professor Henry as a residence, for 
offices, and that it was therefore proper that a suitable allowance be 
made to Professor Baird for house-rent. After some conversation on 
the subject, it was — 

Resolvedj That the Executive Committee consider the propriety of 
making an allowance to the Secretary for house-rent and report on the 
subject at the next meeting of the Board. 

On motion of Dr. Gray, it was — 

Besolvedj That the Board ac\joum to meet on Friday morning, 17th 
January, at half-past 9 o'clock, to hear the annual report of the Secre- 
tary and to transact any other business which may be necessary. 

The Board then adjourned. 

Washinoton, D. C, January 16, 1879. 
A meeting of the Board of Regents was held this day at 7.30 o'clock, 
p. m., in the room of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and 
at 8 o^clock the Regents proceeded in a body to the Hall of the House of 
Repre^sentatives, to attend the public exercises in honor of Profl Joseph 
Henry, late Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 

Washington, D. C, January 17, 1879. 
A meeting of the Board of Regents was held this day in the Regent's 
room at 9.30 o'clock a. m. 

Present, the Chancellor — Chief-Justice Waite, Hon. A. A. Sargent, 
Hon, R. E. Withers, Hon. James A. Garfield, Hon. Hiester Clymer, 
* See Appendix to Journal of the Board. 

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Hon. Peter Parker, Eev. Dr. John Maclean, Prof. Asa Gray, Prof. Henry 
Copp6e, President Noah Porter, General Sherman, and the Secretary, 
Professor Baird. 

The minutes of the mating of January 15 were read and approved. 

The Chancellor laid before the Board several hundred letters received 
in reply to the circulars issued by the Institution, announcing the death 
of Professor Henry, and the election of his successor. 

The subject of the publication of the eulogies on Professor Henry, 
together with an account of his scientific writings, &c., was discussed, 
and on motion of Dr. Maclean, it was — 

Besolvedj That a special committee of three be appointed, of which 
the Secretary of the Institution shall be one, to prepare a memorial of 
Professor Henry, to include in a separate volume of the Smithsonian 
series such biographies and notices of the late Secretary of the Institu- 
tion as may be considered by them worthy of preservation and publi- 

The Chancellor appointed Messrs. Gray, Parker, and Baird, as the 

The Chancellor then stated that. any remarks the Kegents desired to 
make in relation to Professor Henry were in order. 

Dr. Parker addressed the Board as follows: 

Mb. Chancellor and fellow Eegents: We are making history, 
and I wish to say a few words that shall remain upon its page, in mem- 
ory of Joseph Henry, our beloved and lamented Mend and Secretarj^, 
when we, like him, shall have passed firom earth. 

Many have already pronounced his eulogy and set forth his rare tal- 
ents and influence upon the world, and I need not, and could not, were 
I to attempt it, add to your appreciation of Professor Heiuy, his life 
and character, as a Mend, scientist, and Christian, the highest tyi>e of 

For twenty years I have been intimately acquainted with Professor 
Henry, and happily associated with him in many ways ; for ten years as 
a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, and as a member of the Exec- 
utive Committee all that period our intercourse has been frequent and 
intimate. I have never known a more excellent man. 

His memory has been much on my mind since he left us, and I often 
find myself inquiring how he and others like him are occupied now. 
His connection with time is severed, but his existence continues. When 
I recall the names of Professors Franklin Bache, Charles G. Page, Louis 
Agassiz, Joseph Henry^ and others of similar intellect and virtue, I 
find myself asking the question. Are to them all consciousness and 
thought susi)ended by separation from the body? I am reluctant to 
come to such conclusion. But this I know, the Infinite Fatlier^s ways are 

It seems most providential that Professor Henry had the opportunity 

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ODd the strength to give in person his last words, a priceless legacy, to 
the National Academy at its annual meeting in Washington, in April, 
and through that association to the civilized and scientific world; I 
refer to his sentiment " that moral excellence is the highest dignity ofman.^ 

The loftiest talents and highest attainments without this are deficient 
in that, which, in the judgment of wise men and of Infinite Wisdom, is 
of greatest worth. Was there ever a man from whom the sentiment 
could come with better grace t 

The opinion has been expressed, and I do not regard it extravagant, 
that the letter addressed by Professor Henry to his friend Joseph Pat- 
terson, emanating from such a mind, such a marij at ihe close of a pro- 
tracted life of singular distinction, was worth a lifetime to produce. It 
has probably been read by millions, in various languages, and will be by 
future generations. 

Professor Henry was not only a man of science, a discoverer of nature^s 
laws and forces, but a sincere bejiever in God their Author and in his 
atoning Son. To quote his language: " We are conscious of having evil 
thoughts and tendencies that we cannot associate ourselves with a Di- 
vine Being, who is the Director and Governor of all, or even call upon 
him for mercy, without the intercession of one who may affiliate himself 
with us.^ 

Let me quote from the prayer oflfered at his obsequies and to which 
we repesLt our sincere Amen; the lips that uttered it, in less than one 
short month were silent in death, and the two remarkable men. Pro- 
fessors Joseph Henry and Charles Hodge, closely united in life were not 
long divided by death : 

"We thank Thee, O God, that Joseph Henry was bom; that Thou 
didst endow him with such rare gifts, intellectual, moral, and spiritual; 
that ThQu didst spare him to a good old age, and enable him to accom- 
plish so much for the increase of human knowledge and for the good of 
his fellow-men; and above all that Thou didst hold him up before this 
whole nation as such a conspicuous illustration of the truth that moral 
excellence is the highest dignity of man.'' 

On motion of Dr. Maclean, it was — 

Besolvedy That the thanks of the Board of Begents be presented to 
the gentlemen who took part in the memorial services held in the Uni- 
ted States Capitol on the 16th of January in honor of the late Professor 
Henry, and that they be requested to furnish copies of their remarks on 
that occasion. 

Dr. Maclean stated that he intended in the above resolution to include 
General Sherman, who was prevented by the lateness of the hour from 
delivering the whole address he had prepared, Bev. Drs. McCosh and 
Sunderland, who offered prayers, and Mr. Clymer, who made a few 
introductory remarks of an exceedingly interesting character in pre- 
B^iting telegrams which had been sent to the meeting from London. 

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General Sherman, from the Executive Committee, presented a report 
on the subject of an allowance for house-rent to the Secretary, with the 
following preamble and resolution : 

Whereas the east wing oi the Smithsonian building, heretctfore used 
as a residence by Professor Henry, is required tbr the purposes of the 
Institution ; and whereas the present Secretary owns and occupies a 
separate residence in the city of Washington, for which it is but just 
and proper that he should be allowed compensation : Therefore, 

Besolved^ That the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Pro£ S. 
F. Baird, be allowed the sum of one hundred dollars per month for rent, 
fuel, gas, &c., from the date of his election as Secretary, May 17, 1878, 
to the 31st of December, 1879. 

The Secretary presented his annual report, which was read^ and it was 

Resolved, That the annual report of the Secretary be a|)proved and 
transmitted to Congress. 

Dr. Parker suggested that there was a matter of some importance 
which ought to receive attention at this meeting. The Senate had 
passed on the 9th of January the following bill 

For the erection of a fire-proof buUdlng for the National Mnsenm. 

" Be it enacted by tlie Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assemhledy That for a fire proof building 
for the use of a National Museum, three htindred feet square, to be 
erected under the direction and 8ui)ervision of the Eegents of the Smith- 
sonian Institution, in accordance with the plans now on file with the 
Joint Committee of Public Buildings and Grounds, on the southeast 
comer of the groimds of the Smithsonian Institution, the sum of two 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars is hereby appropriated out of any 
money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated ; said building to be 
placed esLSt of the Smithsonian Institution, leaving a roadway between 
it and the latter of not less than fifty feet, with its north front on a line 
with the south face of the buildings of the Agricultural Department 
and of the Smithsonian Institution ; and all expenditures for the pur- 
poses herein mentioned, not including anything for architectural plans, 
shall be audited by the proper officers of the Treasury Departments^ 

If this should pass the House and become a law it would be necessary 
for the Board of Regents to take action in regard to the new building. 

On motion of Mr. Clymer, it was 

Resolved^ That the Executive Committee of this Board, and the Sec- 
retary, or a majority thereof, be, and they are hereby, authorized and 
empowered to act for and in the name of the Board of Begents in car- 
rying into effect the provisions of any act of Congress which may be 
passed providing for the erection of a building for the National Museum. 

The Board then adjourned sine die. 

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Prof, ASA GRAY, 

The Eegents of the Smithsonian Institution, on the day following the 
obseqoies of their late Secretary, resolved to place upon record, by the 
hands of their committee, a memorial of their lamented associate. The 
time has arrived when this should be done, now that the Institution 
enters upon another official year, and its bereavement is brought freshly 
to mind. 

Although time may have assuaged our sorrow, as time will do, and 
although the recollection that a well-spent life was well appreciated and 
not prematurely closed should temper regret, yet they have not dulled 
our sense of loss, nor lessened our estimate of the signal services to 
science, to this Institution, and to the general good which remarkable 
gifts and a devoted spirit enabled this man to render. 

K we would fit this memorial to the subject of it, we must keep in 
mind Professor Henry's complete and transparent, but dignified sim- 
plicity and modesty of character, in which a delicate sense of justice 
went along with extreme dislike of exaggeration, and aversion to all that 
savored of laudation. 

Yet it is not fbr ourselves, his associates — some of few, some of many 
years — that this record is made ; nor need we speak for that larger circle 
of his associates, the men of science in our land, who will, in their sev- 
eral organizations, recount the scientific achievements of their late leader 
and Nestor. And nothing that we can say will enhance the sentiments 
of respect, veneration, and trust with which he was regarded here, in 
Washington, by all who knew him, whether of high or humble station. 
Even those, here or elsewhere, who came only into occasional intercourse 
with him, will remember that thoughtful and benignant face ; — certainly 
It will be remembered by those who, in that recourse to him which it 
was i^ways easy to gain, have seen the mild seriousness of a somewhat 
abstracted and grave mien change into a winning smile, sure precursor 


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of pleasant words, cheerM attention, and, if need were, wise counsel 
and cordial help. Bat we are all passing, as he has passed, and the 
tribute to his memory which it is our privilege to pay, is a duty to those 
who are to come after us, 

Joseph Henry was of Scotch descent. His grandparents, paternal 
and maternal, landed at Kew York from the same vessel on the day 
before the battle of Bunker Hill. The Henrys settled in Delaware 
County, the Alexanders in Saratoga County, Kew York. Of his father, 
William Henry, little is known. He died when his oldest son, Joseph, 
was eight or nine years old. His mother lived to a good age.* He was 
bom at Albany very near the close of the last century, t His boyhood 
was mostly passed with his maternal grandmother in the country at 
Galway. His early education was such as a country common school 
would furnish to a lad of inquisitive mind but no aptness for study. 
The fondness for reading came early, but in a surreptitious way. 

One day, in the pursuit of a pet rabbit, he penetrated through an 
opening in the foundation-wall of the village meeting-house. A glim- 
mer of light enticed him through the broken floor into a room above, in 
which an open bookcase contained the village library. He took down 
a book — ^Brooks's Fool of Quality — was soon absorbed in the perusal, 
returned again and again to this, which he said was the first book he 
ever opened voluntarily, and to all the works of fiction which the library 
contained. Access in the regular way was soon granted to him. 

The lad at this time was a clerk, or oflftce-boy, in the store of a Mr. 
Broderick. He returned to Albany at the age of fourteen or fifteen. 
We may count it as a part of his education that he there served a brief 
apprenticeship to a silversmith, in which he acquired the manual dex- 
terity afterward so useful to him. Opportunely perhaps, the silversmith 
soon failed in business, and young Henby was thrown out of employ- 
ment. His powers were now developing, but not in the line they were 
soon to take. To romance reading was now joined a fondness for the 
theater. !N^ot content with seeing all the plays he could, he found his 
way behind the scenes, and learned the methods of producing stage 

* She is remembeied as a lady of winning refinement of mien and cbaraoter, of smaU 
size, with delicate Grecian features, fair complexion, and when young she is said to 
have been very beantiful. 

tThe date, December 17, 1797, given in the American Cyclopedias, appears to be 
wrong; was perhaps misprinted. There is little donbt that he was bom on the 17th 
of December^ 1799. 

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effects. He joined a juvenile forensic and theatrical society, called tht> 
Eostram, and soon distinguished himself in it by his ingenuity in stage 
arrangements. He was made president, and having nothing else to do 
at the time, he gave his whole attention to the Eostrum. He drama- 
tized a tale, wrote a comedy, and took a part in its representation. Un- 
usually comely in form and features, and of prepossessing adtlress, our 
future philosopher was in a fair way to become an actor, perhaps a dis- 
tinguished one. 

But now a slight illness confined him for a few days to his mother's 
house. To while away the hours he took up a small book which a 
Scotchman, who then occupied a room in the house, had left upon his 
mother's table. . It was " Lectures on Experimental Philosophy, Astron- 
omy, and Chemistry, intended chiefly for the use of young persons, by 
G. Gregory," an English clergj'man. It is an unpretending volume, but 
a sensible one. It begins by asking three or four questions, such as 



" You throw a stone, or shoot an arrow into the air ; why does it not 
go forward in the line or direction that you give itt Why does it stop 
at a certain distance, and then return to you t ♦ ♦ * On the con- 
trarj-, why does flame or smoke always mount upward, though no force 
is used to send them in that direction f And why should not the flame 
of a candle drop toward the floor when you reverse it, or hold it down- 
ward, instead of turning up and ascending into the air? * * * 
Again, you look into a clear well of water and see your own face and 
figure, as if painted there. Why is this? You are told that it is done 
by reflection of light. But what is reflection of light F 

Young Henry's mind was aroused by these apt questions, and allured 
by the explanations; he now took in a sense of what knowledge was. 
The door to knowledge opened to him, that door which it thence became 
the passion of his life to open wider. Thenceforth truth charmed him 
more than fiction. At the next meeting of his dramatic association he 
resigned the office of president and took his leave in a valedictory ad- 
dress, in which he assured his comrades that he should now prepare to 
play his part on another stage, with nobler and more impressive scenes. 
Tlie volume itself is preserved in Professor Henry's library. On a fly- 
leaf is the following entry: 

*• This book, although by no means a profound work, has, under Prov- 
idence, exerted a remarkable influence upon my life. It accidentally 
fell into my hands when I was about sixteen years old, and was the first 
work I ever read with attention. It opened to me a new world of 
thought and enjoyment; invested things before almost unnoticed with 

S. Mis. 69 10. Digitized by ^OOg IC 


the highest interest; fixed my mind on the study of nature, and caused 
me to resolve at the time of reading it that I would immediately com- 
mence to devote my life to the acquisition of knowledge.'' 

The pursuit of elementary knowledge under difficulties and priva- 
tions now commenced. At first he attended a night-school, where he 
soon learned all the master could teach. At length he entered Albany 
Academy, earning the means at one time by teaching a country district 
school, later by serving as tutor to the sons of Gen. Stephen Van Rens- 
selaer the patroon. Then he took the direction of a road-survey across 
the southern portion of the State, from West Point to Lake Erie, earn- 
ing a little money and much credit. He returned to Albany Academy 
as an assistant teacher, but was very soon, in 1828, appointed professor 
of mathematics. He had already chosen his field, and began to make 
.physical investigations. 

It is worth noticing that just when Henry's youthful resolution to 
devote his life to the acquisition of Ifuowledge was ready to bear fruit, 
another resolve was made, in England, by another scientific investiga- 
tor, James Smithson, in his will, executed in October, 1828, wherein he 
devoted his patrimony ^' TO found at Washington an ESTABLismiENT 


Who could have thought that the poor lad, who resolved to seek for 
knowledge as for hid treasure, and the rich man of noble lineage, who 
resolved that his treasure should increase and diffuse knowledge, would 
ever stand in this interesting relation; that the one would direct and 
shape the establishment which the other willed to be founded! 

The young professor's position was an honorable but most laborious 
one. Although Albany Academy was said by the distinguished presi- 
dent of Union College in those days to be " a college in disguise,'^ it 
began its work low down. Its new professor of mathematics had to 
teach seven hours of every day, and for half of this time to drudge with 
a large class of boys in the elements of arithmetic. But he somehow 
found time to carry on systematically the electro-magnetic researches 
which he had already begun. In the very year of his appointment, 
1828, he described in the Transactions of the Albany Institute a new 
application of the galvanic multiplier, and throughout that year and the 
next he carried on those investigations which, when published at the 
beginning of the ensuing year, January, 1831, in that notable first 
paper in the American Journal of Science and the Arts, at once brought 
Henry's name to the front line among the discoverers in electro-mag- 
netism. « /\/>r\ir^ 

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Sturgeon may be said to have first made an electro-magnet ; IIenry 
undoubtedly made the electro-magnet what it is. Just after Barlow in 
England had declared that there could be no electric telegraph to a long 
distance, Henry discovered that there could be, how and why it could 
be; he declared publicly its practicability, and illustrated it experi- 
mentally by setting up a telegraph with such length of wire as he could 
conveniently command, delivering signals at a distance by the sounding 
of abeU. 

Previously to his investigations the means of developing magnet- 
ism in soft iron were imperfectly understood (even though the law from 
which they are now seen to flow had been mathematically worked out 
by Ohm), and the electro-magnet which then existed was inapplicable 
to the transmission of power to a distance. Henry first rendered it ap- 
plicable to the transmission of mechanical power to a distance; was the 
first actually to magnetize a piece of iron at a distance, and by it to 
deliver telegraphic signals. He showed what kind of battery must be 
employed to project the current through a great length of wire, and 
what kind of coil should surround the magnet used to receive this cur- 
rent and to do the work.* 

For the telegraph, and for electro-magnetic machines, what was now 
wanted was not discovery, but invention, not the ascertainment of 
principles, but the devising of methods. These, the proper subjects of 
patent, have been supplied in various ways and, as to the telegraph, 
with wonderful eflftciency ; — ^in Europe, by the transmission of signs 
through the motion of a magnetic needle ; in America, by the production 
of sounds or records by the electro-magnet. Morse was among the first 
to undertake the enterprise, and — ^when directed to the right way 
through Professor Gale's acquaintance with Henry's published re- 
searches — ^he carried the latter mode into practical and most successful 
execution. If Henry had patented his discovery, which he was urged, 
but declined to do, Morse could have patented only his alphabetical mode 
of signaling, and perhaps the use of relay-batteries, the latter indis- 
pensable for long lines xipcn that system. 

The scientific as well as popular effect of Professor Henry's first 
paper in Silliman's Journal was immediate and great. With the same 
battery that Sturgeon used he developed at least a hundred times more 
magnetism. The instantaneous production of magnets lifting four hun- 

•See Snpplementary Note I, Leading Points in the Histors; of the Telegraph. 

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dred and twenty times their own weight, of those which with less than 
a pint of dilate acid acting on two hands' breadth of zinc would lift 
seven hundred and fifty pounds, and this afterward carried up to a 
magnet lifting thirty-three hundred pounds, was simply a^tODishiiig. 
Yet it was not these extraordinary results, nor their mechanical appli- 
cations, which engaged Professor Henry's attention so much as the 
prospect they oi)ened of a way by which to ascend to higher discovery 
of the laws of nature. In other hands, his discoveries furnished the 
means by which diamagnetism, magnetic effects on x>olarized light, and 
magneto-electricity — now playing so conspicuous a part — soon came to 
be known. In his own hands, the Immediate discovery of the induction 
of a current in a long wire on itself* led the way to his next fertile field 
of inquiry, the following up of which caused unwise tardiness in the 
announcement of what he had alreiuly done. For it is within our 
knowledge that the publication of the paper which initiated his fame 
had been urged for months by scientific friends, and at length was has- 
tened by the announcement of some partly similar results reached in a 
different way by Moll, of Utrecht. In a letter not long afterward writ- 
ten to one of us, Professor Henry had occasion to declare : " My whole 
ambition is to establish for myself and to deserve the reputation of a man 
of science." Yet throughout his life ardor for discovery and pure love 
of knowledge were unattended by corresponding eagerness for publica- 
tion. At the close of that very year, 1832, however, he did announce 
the drawing of a spark from a magnet, that first fact in magneto-elec- 
tricity, and, as he supposed, a new one. But he had been anticipated. 

In May, 1830, Professor Heney married his cousin, Harriet L. Alex- 
ander, of Schenectady, who, with three daughters, survives. Two 
earlier children died in infancy, and a son in early manhood. 

Pleasant in most respects as his situation at Albany was, it was not 
an unwelcome invitation which, in the summer of 1832, it became the 
duty and the privilege of the most venerable of our number, then vice- 
president of the College of Xew Jersey, to give to Professor Heney, 
offering him the chair of Natural Philosophy at Princeton. By this early 
call that college secured him for her own during the years most prolific 
for science. It was on a later occasion that Sir David Brewster wrote : 
^' The mantle of Franklin has fallen upon the shoulders of Henby." 
But the aureole was already visible to his fellow- workers in science; 

* Announced in American Journal of Science and the Arts in 1832. 

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and Silliman, Eenwick, and Torrey urged his acceptance of the new 
position, and congratulated Princeton upon the acquisition. 

The professorship came to him unsought. In his last address to one 
of the learned societies over which he presided, Professor Henry men- 
tions that the various offices of honor and responsibility which he then 
held, nine in number, had all been pressed upon him; that he never 
occupied a position for which he had of his own will and action been 
made a candidate. It did not occur to him at that moment to make one 
exception. When a pupil in Albany Academy he once offered himself 
as a teacher of a country district school. The school trustees thought 
him too young, but took him on trial at eight dollars a month. At the 
beginning of the second month they raised his pay to fifteen. 

At Princeton Professor Henry found congenial companions and 
duties well suited to his powers. Here he taught and investigated for 
fourteen fruitfal and happy years; here he professed the faith that was 
in him, entering into the communion of the Presbyterian Church, in 
which he and his ancestors were nurtured ; and here ho developed what 
might not have been expected — a genius for education. One could 
count on hu being a clear expositor, and his gifts for experimental illus- 
tration and for devising apparatus had been already shown. But now, 
as a college professor, the question how to educate came before him ii^ 
in a broader way. He appreciated, and he made his associates and 
pupils appreciate, the excellence of natural philosophy for mental disci- 
pline, for training at once both the observing and the reasoning faculties. 
A science which rises Irom the observation of the most familiar facts, 
and the questioning of these by experiment, to the consideration of 
causes, the ascertaining of laws, and to the most recondite conceptions 
respecting the constitution of matter and the interplay of forces, offers 
iliscipline to all the intellectual powers, and tasks the highest of them. 
Professor Henry taught not only the elementary facts and general 
principles from a fresh survey of both, but also the methods of philo- 
sophical investigation, and the steps by which the widest generaliza- 
tions and the seemingly intangible conceptions of the higher physics 
have been securely reached. He exercised his pupils in deducing par- 
ticular results from admitted laws, and in then ascertaining whether 
what was thus deduced actually occurred in nature; and if not, why 
not. Though very few of a college class might ever afterward under- 
take a physical or chemical investigation, all would or should be con- 
cerned in the acquisition of truth and its relations; and by knowing 

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how truth was won and knowledge advanced in one field of inquuy, 
they would gain the aptitude which any real investigation may give, and 
the confidence that springs from a clear view and a sure grasp of any 
one subject. 

He understood, as few do, the importance of analogy and hypothesis 
in science. Premising that hypothesis should always be founded on 
real analogies and used interrogatively, he commended it as the pre- 
requisite to experiment, and the instrument by which, in the hands of 
sound philosophers, most discoveries have been made. This free use of 
hypothesis as the servant and avant-courier of research — as means rather 
than end — ^is a characteristic of Henry. His ideas on the subject are 
somewhat fully and characteristicaUy expounded by himself in his last 
presidential address to the Philosophical Society of Washington — one 
which he evidently felt would be the last. 

How Henry was valued, honored, revered at Princeton, the memo- 
rial published by his former associates there feelingly declares. What 
he did there for science in those fourteen years would be long to tell 
and difficult to make clear without entering into details, here out of 
place. Happily the work has been done to our hand by the Professor 
himself, several years ago, in a communication which is printed in the 
index volume of the Princeton Keview, and reprinted iu the Princeton 
Memorial. This careful and conscientious, though cursory, analysis, of 
the principal researches of that period we propose to append to this 
record.* There is also in preparation, by a competent scientific hand, a 
detailed list of all Professor Henry's contributions to science, which we 
desire likewise to append.t 

One of these, of the Princeton period, ought to be mentioned. It is 
upon the origin of mechanical power and its relations to vital force. It 
is a characteristic example of Professor Henry's happy mode of treat- 
ing a scientific topic in an untechuical way. It also illustrates his habit 
of simply announcing original ideas without putting them prominently 
forwanl in publication, as any one who was thinking of himself and of 
his own fame would be sure to do. The doctrine he announced was com- 
municated to the American Philosophical Society iu 1844 in brief out- 
lines. He developed it further in an article published in the Patent 
Office Report for 1856, twelve years later ; a medium of publication which 
was naturally overlooked. Only at a friend's desire was the paper re- 

* See Supplementary Note II. A Letter from Professor Henry. 

t See Supplemeutarj' Note III. A List of Professor Henry's Scientific Papers 

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produced, in 1860, in the American Journal of Science, where it would 
be noticed. The attention of Professor Henry was turned to the topic 
(as we happen to know) by an abstract which was given to him of 
Dumas' celebrated lecture, in 1841, on the Chemical Statics of Organized 
Beings. If he had published in 1844, with some fullness, as he then 
wrought them out, his conception and his attractive illustrations of the 
sources, transformation, and equivalence of mechanical power, and given 
them fitting publicity, Henry's name would have been prominent among 
the pioneers and founders of the modern doctrine of the conservation of 

In the year 1837 Professor Henry first visited Europe, and came into 
personal communication with the principal men of science of England, 
Scotland, and France. One of us had the pleasure, a few years after- 
ward, of hearing Faraday si)eak of Henry in terms of hearty regard 
and admiration. The two men were in some respects alike, wholly alike 
in genuine simplicity of character and in disinterested devotion to sci- 
entific discovery. They were then rival investigators in the same line ; 
and the race for a time was not unequal, considering how Henry was 
weighted with onerous professional work. For Faraday, while that most 
acute mind retained its powers, there was the congenial life of pure re- 
search, undistracted by cares of administration or of instruction, beyond 
a few popular lectures ; supplied with every means of investigation ; 
stimulated by the presence or proximity of many fellow- workers ; re- 
warded by discovery after discovery, and not unconscious of the world's 
applause — such was the enviable life of the natural philosopher favor- 
ably placed. But in this country, where fit laborers are few, duty rather 
than inclination must determine their work. Midway in his course Pro- 
fessor Henry was called to exchange a position which allowed the giv- 
ing of considerable time to original researches, for one of greater prom- 
inence, in which these had practically to be abandoned. Not, indeed, 
that this was assuredly expected, but it was contemplated as probable. 
And the event justified the apprehension, while it opened other fields 
of not inferior usefulness. 

In August, 1846, the act of Congress establishing the Smithsonian 
Institution was passed and approved. On the 7th of September ensu- 
ing the Regents held their first meeting. On the 3d of December fol- 
lowing they resolved: 

" That it is essential for the advancement of the proper interests of 
the trust that the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution be a man 

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possessing weight of character and a high grade of talent ; and that it 
is further desirable that he possess eminent scientilic and general acquire- 
ments ; that he be a man capable of advancing science and promoting 
letters by original research and effort, well qualified to act as a respected 
channel of communication between the Institution and scientific and 
literary individuals and societies in this and foreign countries ; and, in 
a word, a man worthy to represent before the world of science and let- 
ters the Institution over which this Board presides.'^ 

Immediately following the adoption of this resolution, Professor Jo- 
seph Henry, of Princeton, was elected Secretary. On the 14th of De- 
cember a letter was read from him accepting the appointment. At the 
meeting a week later, he appeared and entered upon the duties of his 
offt^e. From this time the biography of Professor Henry is the history 
of the Institution. That history is set forth in the Secretary's annual 
reports, presented by the Board of Kegents to Congress, and it need not 
be recapitulated. A few words may give some idea of the deep impres- 
sion he made upon the Institution while it was yet plastic. 

Some time before his appointment he had been requested by members 
of the Board of Regents to examine the will of Smithson, and to suggest 
a plan of organization by which the object of the bequest might, in his 
opinion, best be realized. He did so, and the plan he drew was in their 
hands when he was chosen Secretary. As ho himself summed it up, 
the plan was based on the conviction " that the intention of the donor 
was to advance science by original research and publication ; that the 
establishment was for the benefit of mankind generally, and that all 
unnecessary expenditures on local objects would be violations of the 
trust.'' The plan proposed was, in the leading feature, " to assist men 
of science in making original researches, to publish them in a series of 
volumes, and to give a copy of these to every first-class library on the 
face of the earth." 

His " Plan of Organization," filled out in its details and adjusted to 
the conditions prescribed by the law and by the action of the Regents, 
was submitted to the Board in the following year, was adopted as its 
" governing policy," and it has been reprinted, in full or in part, in 
almost everj' annual report. All would understand, therefore, that Pro- 
fessor Henry's views were approved, and that they would be carried 
into effect as far and as fast as they commended themselves to the judg- 
ment of the Regents, and as opportunity made them practicable. 

If the Institution is now known and praised throughout the world of 
science and letters, if it is fulfilling the will of its founder and the reason- 

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able expectations of the nation which accepted and established the 
trust, the credit is mainly due to the practical wisdom, the catholic 
spirit, and the indomitable perseverance of its first Secretaiy, to whom 
the establishing act gave much power of shaping ends which, as rough- 
hewn by Congress, were susceptible of various diversion. For Con- 
gress, in launching, did not shape the course of the Institution, except 
in a general way. And in intrusting its guidance to the Eegents, the 
law created only one salaried and permanent officer, the Secretary, on 
whom, by its terms and by the conditions of the case, it devolved great 
responsibility and commensurate influence. Some of us are old enough 
to remember the extreme diversity of opinion in Congress over the use 
to be made of Smithson's legacy. One party, headed by an eminent 
statesman and Ex-President, endeavored to found with it an astronomical 
observatory, for which surely the country need not be indebted to a 
foreigner. A larger party strove to secure it for a library ; not, prob- 
ably because they deemed that use most relevant to the founder's in- 
tention, but because rival schemes might fritter away the noble bequest 
in popular lecturing, itinerant or stationary, of which the supply and 
the quality are in this country equal to the demand; or in the dissemi- 
nation of elementary knowledge by the printing-press, as if that were 
beyond the reach of private enterprise; or in setting up one more col- 
lege, university, or other educational establishment on half an endow- 
ment; or in duplicating museums and cabinets, which, when supported 
by a fixed capital, necessarily soon reach the statical condition in which 
all the income is absorbed in simply taking care of what has been ac- 

Congress rejected, one after the other, the schemes for making of the 
Institution an observatory, a library, a normal school, and a lecturing 
establishment, with professors at Washington. It created a Board of 
Ilegents, charged it with the care of the collections and museums be- 
longing to the United States; authorized the expenditure, if the liegents 
saw fit, of a sum not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars annually 
for the formation of a library; and in all else it directed them to make 
such disposal of the income " as they shall deem best suited for the pro-, 
motion of the purpose of the testator.'' 

Under this charter, and with the course of the Institution still to be 
marked out, it is not surprising that the official adviser and executive 
of the Board should look to the will of Smithson for the controlling in- 
terpretation of the law. He knew, moreover, that in an earlier will 

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Smithson had bequeathed his fortune to the Eoyal Society of London, 

an institution expressly for the furtherance of scientific research ; and 

that he changed, as we may say, the trusteeship for a purely personal 

reason, Henry took his stand on the broad and simple terms of the 

bequest, " for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." 

And he never — 

Narrowed his mind, 
And to locality gave what was meant for mankind. 

He proposed only one restriction, of obvious wisdom and necessity, 
that, in view of the limited means of the Institution, it ought not to un- 
dertake anything which could be done, and well done, by other exist- 
ing instrumentalities. So, as occasion arose, he lightened its load and 
saved its energies by giving over to other agencies some of its cherished 
work — meteorology, for instance, in which a most popular bureau now 
usefully exi)ends many times more than the whole Smithsonian income. 

He has in these last years signified his desire to go still further in 
this direction, and to have the Institution relieved from the charge 
of the National Museum, now of imperial dimensions and importance. 
His reasons were summed up in few words in his last report, along with 
his synopsis of the appropriate functions of the Institution, which he 
prays may not be merged in or overshadowed by any establishment of 
the Government, but may stand *'free to the unobstructed observation 
of the whole world, keeping in perpetual remembrance the will of its 
founder.'^ Its true functions he declares are: 

"First. To enlarge the bounds of human thought by assisting men of 
science to make original investigations in all branches of knowledge ; to 
publish these, and to present copies to all the principal libraries of the 
world. Second. To institute investigations in various branches of 
science, and explorations for the collection of specimens in natural his- 
tory and ethnology, to be distributed to museums and other establish- 
ments. Third. To diffuse knowledge by carrying on an extended inter- 
national series of exchanges by which the accounts of all the original 
researches in science, the educational progress, and the general advance 
of civilization in the Kew World are exchanged for similar works of the 
Old World.'' 

The plan which our late Secretary originated has commended itself to 
the judgment of successive Boards of Regents, and, we may be permit- 
ted to add, is now approved wherever it is known and understood. 

Professor Henry took his full share of the various honorable duties 
to which such men are called. He was in his turn President of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, in the year 1840; 

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of the Society for the Advaocement of Education, in 1855; a Trustee of 
Princeton College, and of Columbian University, also of the Corcoran 
Gallery of Art, in which the Smithsonian Institution deposits its art 
collections; Visitor of the Government Hospital for the Insane; Presi- 
dent of the Philosophical Society of Washington; President of the 
National Academy of Sciences at Washington. For many years a mem- 
ber of the Light-House Boanl, to which he gave gratuitous and invalu- 
able services as Chairman of its committee on exi)eriments, he added for 
the last seven years the chairmanship of the board itself, in his adminis- 
tration no sinecure. Advice and investigation were sought from hij3, 
from time to time, by every department of Government. All were sure 
that his advice was never biased by i)ersonal interest; and his sound 
judgment, supported by spotless character, was greatly deferred to. 

We have said that in coming to Washington a career of investigation 
was exchanged for a life of administration. It should rather be said that 
his investigations thereafter took a directly practical turn, as his mind 
was brought to bear upon diflBcult questions of immediate importance 
which were referred to him by Government or came in the course of 
official duty. In the light-house service alone his timely experiments 
upon lard-oil lighting, and the firmness with which he pressed his con- 
clusions into practice when sperm-oil became dear, has already saved 
more than a million of dollars; the adaptation of mineral oil to the lesser 
lights made another great saving; and the results reached by his recent 
investigations of the conditions which* influence the transmission of 
sound and their application to acoustical signaling are not to be valued 
by the saving of money only. 

It was in the prosecution of these last investigations, over a year ago, 
and probably in consequence of exposure in them, at the light-house 
station on Staten Island, that an intimation of the approaching end of 
these labors was received. Yet a few months more of useful life were 
vouchsafed to him, not free from sufiering, but blessed with an unclouded 
mind and borne with a serene spirit; and then, at midday on the 13th 
of May last, the scene was closed. 

At the sepulture of his remains (on the IGth) and afterward, it was 
generally remarked at Washington that never before had the funeral of 
a private citizen called forth such sense of loss, such profound demon- 
strations of respect and affection. 

It is not for us to assign Professor Henry's place among the men of 
science of our time. Those who do this will probably note that his 

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American predecessors were Franldin and Rumford; that all tliree were 
what we call self-made men 5 that all three, after ha\ing proved their 
talents for original inrestigation in physics, were called in their mature 
years to duties of administration and the conduct of affairs. There are 
interesting parallels to be drawn from their scientific work, if one had 
time to trace them. 

Xot often is a great man of science a good man of business. Henry's 
friends at Princeton, who besought him not to abandon the peaceful 
academic life which he was enjoying and the quiet pursuits which had 
given him fame, were surprised when in another sphere he developed 
equal talents for organization and administration. We have seen how 
he always developed the talent to do wisely and well whatever he un- 
dertook. His well-poised spirit, at once patient and masterful, asserted 
itself in the trials he encountered in the early years of the Institution, 
and gave assurance that he could deal with men as well as with the 
forces of nature. 

Again, not often is a man of science free from the overmastering in- 
fluence of his special pursuit. More or less his "nature is subdued to 
what it works in, like the dyer's hand.'' Xow, Henry's mind was un- 
colored by the studies of his predilection. His catholic spirit comes out 
in his definition of science: "Science is the knowledge of the laws of 
phenomena, whether they relate to mind or matter." It appears in his 
choice of the investigations to be furthered and memoirs to be published 
by the Institution. These nowhere show the bias of a specialist. 

Then, he was a careful, painstaking man, very solicitous — perhaps 
unduly anxious — about the particulars of everything for which he felt 
responsible. Therefore he was sometimes slow in making up liis mind 
on a i)ractical question. May we here condescend to a trivial anecdote 
of his early boyhood, which he amusingly related to one of us many 
years ago and pleasantly recalled at one of our latest interviews. It 
goes back to the time when he was first allowed to have a pair of boots, 
and to choose for himself the style of them. He was living with his 
grandmother in the country, and the village Crispin could offer no 
great choice of patterns; indeed, it was narrowed down to the alterna- 
tive of round toes or square. Daily the boy visited the shop and pon- 
dered the alternatives, even while the manufacture was going on, until 
at length the shoemaker, who could brook no more delay, took the 
dilemma by both horns and produced the most remarkable pair of 
boots the wearer ever had ; one boot round-toed, the other square-toed. 

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Deliberate as Henry was in after years, taught by this early lesson, 
ho probably never ajjaui postponed decision till it was too late to choose. 
One result of duo deliberation was that he rarely had to change his 
mind. When he had taken his course, he held to it. His patience and 
kindness under demands upon his time were something wonderful. 
Some men are thus patient from easy good-nature; Henry was so from 
juinciple. A noticeable part of the Secretary's correspondence was with 
a class of men— more numerous than would be supposed — who thought 
they had discovered new laws of nature or new applications of them, 
and who appealed to him to make their discoveries known. The Secre- 
tary never returned a curt answer to such appeals or inquiries, whether 
nmde personally or by letter. Many are the hours which he would con- 
scientiously devote to such paradoxical schemes— sometimes of wonderful 
ingenuity — and to the dictation of elaborate replies to them. Detecting 
far down in the man's mind the germs of the fallacy which had misled 
him, he would spare no pains to present it and its consequences so 
plainly to his bewildered correspondent that he could find his own way 
out of it; while at the same time he awarded credit and encouragement 
for whatever was true, probable, or ingenious. 

Although of sensitive spirit and with a just sense of what was due to 
himself. Professor Henry kept free from controversy. Once he took up 
the pen, not because his discoveries were set at naught, but because his 
veracity was impliedly assailed. His dignified recital of undeniable 
facts (in his Annual lieport for 1857) was all that was necessary, and 
not even a word of indignant comment was added. 

He left his scientific work to form its part of the history of science 
and to be judged by scientific men. The empiric he once sententiously 
defined to be " one who appeals his cause to an incompetent tribunal." 
He never courted publicity ; not from fastidious dislike, still less from 
dis^lain of well-earned popular applause, but simply because he never 
thought of it. 

His disinterested devotion to this Institution was shown in many 
ways 5 among others in successive refusals to accept increase of salary 
lest it should be thought that the office he held was lucrative. Twice 
or thrice, moreover, while cumbered with anxieties, he promptly declined 
rails to i)ositions of greater emolument, less care, and abundant leisure 
for the pursuits he loved. 

We cannot here continue these delineations, and it may be that the 
character of the man has portrayed itself in general outlines as the 

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narrative proceeded. But one trait may not be wholly omitted from the 
biography of one who has well been calleil " the model of a Christian 
gentleman," and who is also our best example of a physical philosopher. 
His life was the practical harmony of the two characters. His entire 
freedom from the doubts which disturb some miuds is shown in that 
last letter which he dictated, in which he touches the grounds of 
faith both in natural and revealed religion ; also in his sententious 
declaration upon some eai'lier occasion, that the person who thought 
there could be any real conflict between science and religion must be 
either very young in science or ignorant of religion. 

The man for whom this memorial is placed was a veteran in both ; was 
one of that noble line of natural philosophers for whom we may in all 
sincerity render to Almighty God hearty thanks, not only for the good 
example and fruit cf their lives, but also that, ha\dng finished their 
course in faith, they do now rest from their labors. 




The following appear to be the main points in the order of discovery 
which led to the electro-magnetic telegraph. . They are here condensed 
from Professor Henry's "Sta^tement'', in the ^'Proceedings of the Re- 
gents", published in the Smithsonian lleport for the year 1S57, and from 
a note appended by Mr. William B. Taylor to his "Memoir of Joseph 
Henry and his Scientilic Work," read betbre the Philosophical Society of 

1819-1820. Oersted showed that a magnetic needle is deflecte<l by the 
action of a current of galvanic electricity passing near it. It 
appears that this discovery had already been made as early as 
the year 1802, by Eomagnesi, and published in 1805. 
1820. Arago discovered that while a galvanic current is passing through 
a copper wire it is capable of developing magnetism in soil 
1820. Ampere discovered that two wires through which currents are 
parsing in the same direction attract, and in opposite directions 
repel, each other ; and thence he Inferred that magnetism con- 
sists in the attraction of electrical currents revolving at right 
angles to the line joining the two poles of the magnet, and 
is produced in a bar of steel or iron by induction from a series 
of electrical currents revolving in the same direction at right 
angles to the axis of the bar. 
1820. Schweigger in the same year i)roduced the galvanometer. 
1825. Sturgeon made the electro-magnet by bending the bar, or rather 
a piece of iron wire, into the form of a horse-shoe, covering it 

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with varnish to iasulate it, and surrounding it with a helix of 
wirti the turns of which were at a distance. 

1829-1830. Henry, in accordance with the theory of Ampere, produced 
the intensity or si>ool- wound magnet, insulating the wire in- 
stead of the rod or bar, and covering the whole surface of the 
iron with a series of coils in close contact. He extended the 
principle to the fiill by winding successive strata of insulated 
wire over each other, thus producing a compound helix formed 
of a long wire of many coils. At the same time he developed 
the relation of the intensity magnet to the intensity battery, 
and their relations to the magnet of quantity. He thus macle 
the electro magnet capable of transmitting power to a long 
distance, demonstrated the principle and perfected the magnet 
applicable to the purpose, was the first actually to magnetize a 
piece of iron at a distance, and to demonstrate and declare the 
applicability of the electro-magnet to telegraphy at a distance. 
Using the terminal short-circuit magnet of quantity and the 
armature as the signaling device, ho was the first to make by 
it acoustic signals, sounding a bell at a distance by means of 
the electro-magnet. 

1833. Weber discovered that the condnctiug-wires of an electric tele- 
graph could be left without insulation except at the points of 

1833. Gauss ingeniously arranged the application of a dual sign in such 
manner as to produce a true .alphabet for telegraphy. 

1836. Daniel invented and brought into use a constant galvanic battery. 

1837. Steinheil discovered that the earth may form the returning half 

of the circuit, so that a single conducting wire suffices for 

1837. Morse adopted, through the agency of Dr. Gale, the principle of 

the Henry electro-magnet, and the armature made of a record- 
ing instrument. 

1838. Morse devised his "dot and dash'' alphabet, a great improvement 

upon the Gauss and Steinheil alphabets. 
1844. Morse suggested and brought into use the system of relay-mag- 
nets, and relay-circuits, to re-einforce the current. 



[From the Priuceton Memorial of Professor Henry.] 

My Dear Sir : In compliance with your request that I would give 
UD account of my scientific researches during my connection with the 
College of New Jersey, I furnish the following brief statement of my 
labors within the period mentioned: 

I. Previous to my call from the Albany Academy to a professorship 
in the College of New Jersey, I had made a series of researches on ele<i- 
tro-magnetism, in which I developed the principles of the electro-mag- 
net and the means of accumulating the magnetic power to a great ex- 
tent, and had also applied this power in the invention of the first elec- 
tro-magnetic machine; that is, a mechanical contrivance by which elec- 
tro-magnetism was applied as a motive power. Digitized by ^OOy IC 


I soon saw, liowever, that tlie application of this power was bnt an in- 
direct method of employing the energy derived from the combustion of 
coal, and, therefore, could never compete, on the score of expense, with, 
that agent as a means of propelling machinery, but that it might be 
used in some cases in which expense of power was not a consideration 
to be weighed against the value of certain objects to be attained. 

A great amount of labor has since been devoted to this invention, es- 
pecially at the expense of the Government of the United States, by the 
late Dr. Page, but it still remains in nearly the same condition it was 
left in by myself in 1831. 

I also applied, while in Albany, the results of my experiments to the in- 
vention of the first electro-magnetic telegraph, in which signals were trans- 
mitted by exciting an electro-magnet at a distance, by which means bells 
were struck in succession, capable of indicating letters of the alphabet. 

In the midst of these investigations I was called to Princeton, through 
the nomination of Dr. Jacob Green, then of Philadelphia, and Dr. John 
Torrey, of New Yorlc. 

I arrived in Princeton in November, 1832, and as soon as I became 
fully settled in the chair which 1 occupied, I recommenced my investi- 
gations, constructed a still more powerful electro-magnet than I had 
made before— one which would sustain over 3,000 pounds — and with it 
illustrated to my class the manner in which a large amount of power 
might, by means of a relay-magnet, be called into operation at the dis- 
tance of many miles. 

I also made several modifications in the electro-magnetic machine be- 
fore mentioned, and just previous to my leaving for England, in 1837, 
again turned my attention to the telegraph. I think the first actual 
line of telegraph using the earth as a conductor, was made in the be- 
ginning of 1830. A wire was extended across the front cjimpus of the 
college grounds, from the upper story of the library building to the 
philosophical hall on the opposite side, the ends terminating in two wells. 
Through this wire, signals were sent from time to time from my house to 
my laboratory. The electromagnetic telegraph was first invented by 
me, in Albany, in 1830. Professor Morse, according to his statements, 
conceived the idea of an electro-magnetic telegraph in his voyage across 
the ocean in 1832, but did not until several years afterward — 1837 — attempt 
to cany his ideas into practice; and when he did so, he found himself so 
little acquainted with the subject of electricity that he could not make his 
simple machine operate through the distance of a few yards. In this di- 
lemma he called in the aid of Dr. Gale, who was well acquainted with 
what I had done in Albany and Princeton, having visited me at the lat- 
ter place. He informed Professor Morse that he had not the right kind 
of a battery nor the right kind of magnets, whereupon the professor 
turned the matter over to him, and, with the knowledge he had obtained 
from my researches, he was enabled to make the instrument work 
through a distance of several miles. For this service Professor Morse 
gave him a share of his patent, which he afterwards purchased from 
him for $15,000. At the time of making my original experiments on 
electro-magnetism in Albany, I was urged by a friend to take out a pat- 
ent, both for its application to machinery and to the telegraph, but this 
I declined, on the ground that I did not then consider it compatible 
with the dignity of science to confine the benefits which might be de- 
rived from it to' the exclusive use ot any individual. In this, perhaps, 
I was too fastidious. In briefly stating my claims to the invention of 
the electro-magnetic telegraph, I may say I was the first to bring the 

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Alectro-magnet into the condition necessary to its use in telegraphy, and 
also to point out its application to the telegraph, and to illustrate this 
by constructing a working telegraph, and, had I taken out a patent for 
my labors at that time, Mr. Morse could have had no ground on which 
to found his claim for a jjatent for Lis invention. To Mr. Morse, how- 
ever, great credit is due for his alphabet, and for his perseverance in 
bringing the telegraph into practical use. 

II. My next investigation, after being settled at Princeton, was in re- 
lation to electro-dynamic induction. Mr. Faraday had discovered that 
when a current of galvanic electricity was passed through a wire from 
a battery, a current in an opposite direction was induced in a wire ar- 
ranged parallel to this conductor. I discovered that an induction of a 
similar kind took place in the primary conducting wire itself, so that a 
current which, in its passage through ,a short wire conductor, would 
neither produce sparks nor shocks, would, if the wire were sufficiently 
long, produce both these phenomena. The effect was most strikingly 
exhibited when the conductor was a flat ribbon, covered with silk, rolled 
into the form of a helix. With this, brilliant deflagrations and other 
electrical effects of high intensity were produced by means of a current 
from a battery of low intensity, such as that of a single element. 

III. A series of investigations was afterward made, which resulted in 
producing inductive currents of different orders, ha%ing different direc- 
tions, made up of waves alternately in opposite directions. It was also 
discovered that a plate of metal of any kind, introduced between two 
conductors, neutralized this induction, and this effect was afterward 
found to result from a current in the plate itself. It was afterward 
shown that a cun*ent of quantity was capable of producing a current 
of intensity, and, vice versa^ a current of intensity would produce one 
of quantity. 

IV. Another series of investigations, of a parallel character, was made 
in regard to ordinary or frictional electricity. In the course of these it 
was shown that electro-dynamic inductive action of ordinary electricity 
was of a peculiar character, and that effects could be produced by it at 
a remarkable distance. For example, if a shock were sent through a 
wire on the outside of a building, electrical effects could be exhibited in 
a parallel wire within the building. As another illustration of this, it 
may be mentioned that when a discharge of a battery of several Ley- 
den jars was sent through the wire before mentioned, stretched across 
the campus in fix)nt of Nassau Hall, an inductive eftect was produced 
in a parallel wire, the ends of which terminated in the plates of metal 
in the ground in the back campus, at a distance of several hundred feet 
fit)m the primary current, the building of Nassau Hall intervening. The 
dfect produced consisted in the magnetization of steel needles. 

In this series of investigations, the fact was discovered that the in- 
duced current, as indicated by the needles, appeared to change its di- 
rection with the distance, of the two wires, and other conditions of the 
experiment, the cause of which for a long time baffled inquiry, but was 
finally satisfactorily explained by the discovery that the discharge of 
electricity fix)m a Leyden jar is of an oscillatory character, a principal 
discbarge taking place in one direction, and immediately afterward a re- 
bound in the opposite, and so on forward and backward, until the equi- 
hbrinm is obtained. 

V. The next series of investigations related to atmospheric induction. 
The first of these consisted of experiments with two large kites, the 
lower end of the string of one being attached to the upper surface of a 
second kite, the string of each consisting of a fine wire, the terminal end 

S. Mis. 59 11 ^.^^^^^^^ by ^OOgie 


of the whole being coiled around an insulated drum. I was assisted in 
these experiments by Mr. Brown, of Philadelphia, who furnished the 
kites. When they were elevated, at a time when the sky was imrfectly 
clear, sparks were drawn of surprising intensity and pungency, the elec- 
tricity being supplied from the air, and the intensity being attributed to 
the induction of the long wire on itself. 

VI. The next series of experiments pertaining to the same class was 
on the induction from thunder clouds. For this purpose the tin cover- 
ing of the roof of the house in which I resided was used as an inductive 
plate. A wire was soldered to the edge of the roof near the guVer, was 
passed into my study and out again through holes in the window-sash, 
and terminated in connection with a plate of metal in a deep well im- 
mediately in front of the house. By breaking the continuity of that 
part of the wire which was in the study, and introducing into the open- 
ing a magnetizing spiral, needles placed in this could be magnetized by 
a flash of lightning so distant that the thunder could scarcely be heard. 
The electrical disturbance produced in this case was also found to be of 
an oscillatory character, a discharge first passing through the wire from 
the roof to the well, then another in the opposite direction, and so on 
until equilibrium was restored. This result was arrived at in this case, 
as well as in that of the Leyden jar, before mentioned, by placing the 
same, or a similar needle, in succession, in spirals of greater and greater 
numbers of turns ; for example, in a spiral of a single turn the needle 
would be magnetized plusy or in the direction due to the first and more 
powerful wave. By increasing the number of coils, the action of the 
second wave became dominant, so that it would more than neutralize 
the magnetism produced by the first wave, and leave the needle minus. 
By farther increasing the number of turns, the third wave would be so 
exalted as to neutralize the effects of the preceding two, and so on. In 
the case of induction by lightning, the same result was obtained by plac- 
ing a number of magnetizing spirals, of different magnetizing intensities, 
in the opening of the primary conductor, the result of which was to pro- 
duce the magnetization of an equal number of needles, plus and minus, 
indicating alternate currents in opx)osite directions. 

VII. In connection with this class of investigations a s^es of experi- 
ments was made in regard to lightning-rods. It was found that when a 
quantity of electricity was thrown upon a rod, the lower end of which 
was connected with a plate of metal sunk in the water of a deep well, 
that the electricity did not descend silently into water, but that sparks 
could be drawn from every part of the rod sufficiently intense to explode 
an electrical pistol, and to set fire to delicate inflammable substances. 
The spark thus given off' was found to be of a peculiar character, for 
while it produced combustion and gave a slight shock, and fired the 
electrical pistol, it scarcely at all affected a gold-leaf electroscope. In- 
deed, it consisted of two sparks, one from the conductor and the other 
to it, in such quick succession, that the rupture of the air by the first 
served for the path of the second. The conclusion arrived at was, that 
during the passage of the electricity down the rod, each point in succes- 
sion receiv^ed a charge analogous to the statical charge of a prime con- 
ductor, and that this charge, in its passage down the rod, was immedi- 
ately preceded by a negative charge; the two in their passage past the 
point at which the spark was drawn, giving rise to its duplex character. 
It was also shown by a series of experiments in transmitting a powerful 
discharge through a portion of air, that the latter, along the path of 
discharge, was endowed for a moment with an intense repulsive energy. 
So great is this that in one instance, when an electrical discharge fr^m 

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thecloudd passed between two cbiraneys through the cockloft of a house, 
the whole roof was lifted from the walls. It is to this repulsive energy, 
or tendency in air to expand at right angles to the path of a stroke of 
Ughtning, that the mechanical effects which accompany the latter are 
generally to be attributed. 

In connection with this series of investigations an experiment was 
devised for exhibiting the screening effect, within a space inclosed with a 
metallic envelope, of an exterior discharge of electricity. It consisted 
in coating the outside of a hollow glass globe with tinfoil and after- 
ward inserting, through a small hole in the side, a delicate gold-leaf 
electrometer. The latter, being observed through a small opening in 
the tinfoil, was found to be unaffected by a discharge of electricity passed 
over the outside coating. 

Vm. Another series of investigations was on the phosphorogenic 
emanation from the sun. It had long been known that, when the dia- 
mond is exi)osed to the direct rays of the sun, and then removed to a 
dark place, it emits a pale blue light, which has received the name of 
phosphorescence. This effect is not peculiar to the diamond, but is 
possessed by a number of substances, of which the sulphuret of lime is 
the most prominent. It is also well known that phosphorescence is 
produced by exposing the substance to the electric discharge. Another 
fact was discovered by Becquerel, of the French Institute, that the 
agent exciting phosphorescence traverses with difficulty a plate of glass 
or mica, while it is transmitted apparently without impediment through 
plates of black quartz impervious to light. 

My experiments consisted, in the first place, in the reproduction, of 
these results, and afterward in the extension of the list of substances 
which possess the capability of exhibiting phosphorescence, as well as 
the effects of different interposed media. It was found that, among a 
large number of transparent solids, some were permeable to the phos- 
phorescing agent, and others impermeable, or imperfectly permeable. 
Among the former were ice, quartz, common salt, alum. Among the 
latter class, mica, tourmaline, camphor, &c. Among liquid permeable 
substances were water, solutions of alum, ammonia; while among the 
impermeable liquids were most of the acids, sulphate of zinc, sulphate 
of lead, alcohol, &c. 

It was found that the emanation took place from every point of the 
line of the electric discharge, but with more intensity from the two ex- 
tremities; and also, that the emanation producing phosphorescence, what- 
ever be its nature, when reflected firom a mirror, obeys the laws of the 
reflection of light, but no reflection was obtained from a surface of 
polished glass. It is likewise refracted by a prism of rock salt, in ac- 
cordance with the laws of the refraction of light. By transmitting the 
rays from an electrical spark through a series of very thin plates of 
mica, it was shown that the emanation was capable of polarization, and, 
consequently, of double refraction. 

IX. The next series of investigations was on a method of determining 
the velocity of projectiles. The plan proposed for this purpose con- 
sisted in the application of the instantaneous transmission of elec- 
trical action to determine the time of the passage of the ball between 
two screens, placed at a short distance from each other in the path of 
the projectile. For this purpose the observer is provided with a re- 
volving cylinder moving by clock-work at a uniform rate, and of which 
the convex surface is £vided into equal parts indicating a fractional 
part of a second. The passage of the ball through the screen breaks a 
galvanic circuity the time of which is indicated on the revolving cylinder 

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by the terminal spark prodnced in a wire surroundinj: a bundle of iron 
wires. Since the publication of this invention various other plans 
founded on the same principle have been introduced into practice. 

X. Another series of experiments was in regard to the relative heat 
of different parts of the sun's disk, and especially to that of the spots 
on the surface. These were made in connection with Prof. 8. Alex- 
ander, and consisted in throwing an image of the sun on a screen in a 
dark room by drawing out the eye-piece of a telescope. Through a hole 
in the screen the end of a sensitive thermopile was projected, the wires 
of which were connected with a galvanometer. By slightly moving the 
smaller end of the telescope different parts of the image of the sun could 
be thrown on the end of the thermo-pile, and by the deviation of the 
needle of the galvanometer the variation of the heat was indicated. In 
this way it was proved that the spots radiated less heat than the adja- 
cent parts, and that all parts of the sun's surface did not give off an 
equal amount of heat. 

XI. Another series of experiments was made with what was called a 
thermal telescope. This iBStrument consisted of a long hollow cone of 
pasteboard, lined with silver leaf and painteil outside with lampblack. 
The angle at the apex of this cone was such as to cause all the parallel 
rays fk'om a distant object entering the larger end of the cone to be re- 
flected on to the end of a thermo-pile, the poles of which were connected 
with a delicate galvanometer. When the axis of this conical reflector 
was directed toward a distant object of greater or less temperature than 
the surrounding bodies, the difference was immediately indicated by the 
deviation of the needle of the galvanometer. For example, when the 
object was a horse in a distant field the radiant heat from the animsd 
was distinctly perceptible at a distance of at least several hundred yards. 
When this instrument was turned toward the celestial vault the radiant 
heat was observed to increase from the zenith downward j when directed, 
however, to different clouds, it was found to indicate m some cases a 
greater and in others a less degree of radiation than the surrounding 
space. When the same instrument was directed to the moon a slight 
increase of temperature was observed over that of the a4jacent sky, but 
this increase of heat was attributed to the reflection of the heat of the 
sun from the siuface of the moon, and not to the heat of the moon itself. 
To show that this hypothesis is not inconsistent with the theory that the 
moon has cooled down to the temperature of celestial space, a concave 
mirror was made of ice, and a thermo-pile placed in the more distant 
focus. When a flame of hydrogen, rendered luminous by a spiral plati- 
num wire, was placed in tlie other focus, the needle of the galvanometer 
attached to the pile indicated a reflection of heat, care being taken to 
shade the pile by a screen with a small opening introduced between it 
an<l the flame. 

XII. Another series of experiments connected with the preceding may 
be mentioned here. It is well known that the light jfrom a flame of 
hydrogen is of very feeble intensity. The same is the case with that of 
the compound blowpipe, while the temperature of the latter is exceed- 
ingly high, sufficiently so to melt fine platinum wire. It is also well known 
that by introducing lime or other solid substance into this flame its radi- 
ant light is very much increased. I found that the radiant heat was 
increased in a similar ratio, or, in other wonls^ that in such cases the 
radiant heat was commensurate with the radiant light, and that the 
flame of the compound blowpipe, though of exceedingly high tempera- 
ture, is a comparatively cool substance in regard to radiant heat. To 
study the relation of the temperature of a flame to the amount of heat 

Digitized by V^OOQ IC 


given off, four ounces of water were placed in a platinum crucible and 
supported on a ring-stand over a flame of hydrogen; the minutes and 
seconds of time were then accurately noted which were required for the 
raising of the water firom the temperature of 6(P to the boiling x>oint. 
The same experiment was repeat^ with an equal quantity of water, 
with the same flame, into which a piece of mica was inserted by a handle 
made of a narrow slip of the same substance. With this arrangement 
the light of the flame wa« much increased, while the time of bringing 
the water to the boiling point was also commensurately increased, thus 
conclusively showing that the increase of light was at the expense of the 
diminntion of the temperature. These experiments were instituted in 
order to examine the nature of the ferct mentioned by Connt Rumford, 
that balls of clay introduced into a fire under some conditions increase 
the heat given off into an apartment. From the results just mentioned 
it follows that the increase in the radiant heat, which would facilitate 
the roasting of an article before the fire, would be at the expense of the 
bcHling of a liquid in a vessel suspended directly over the point of com- 

Xin. Another investigation had its origin in the accidental observa- 
tion of the following fact: A quantity of mercury had been left undis- 
turbed in a shallow saucer, with one end of a piece of lead wire, about 
the diameter of a goose-quill, and six inches long, plunged into it, the 
other end resting on the shelf. In this condition it was found, after a 
few days, that the mercury had passed through the solid lead, as if it 
were a siphon, and was lying on the shelf still in a liquid Condition. 
The saucer contained a series of minute crystals of an amalgam of lead 
and mercury. A similar result was produced when a piece of the same 
lead wire was coated with varnish, the mercury being transmitted with- 
out disturbing the outer surface. 

When a length of wire of five feet was supported vertically, with its 
lower end immersed in a vessel of mercury, the liquid metal was found 
to ascend, in the course of a few days, to a height of three feet 
These results led me to think that the same property might be possessed 
by other metals in relation to each other. The first attempt to verity 
this conjecture was made by placing a small globule of gold on a plate of 
sheet-iron and submitting it to the heat of an assaying furnace, but the 
experiment was unsuccessful, for, although the gold was heated much 
beyond its melting point, it showed no signs of sinking into the pores 
of the iron. The idea afterward suggest^ itself that a different result 
would have been obtained had the two metals been made to adhere to 
each other, so that no oxide could form between the two surfaces. To 
verify this a piece of copper, thickly plated with silver, was heated t-o 
near the melting point of the metals, when the silver disappeared, and, 
after the surface was cleaned with diluted sulphuric acid, it presented a 
uniform surfaee of copper. This plate was next immersed for a few 
minutes in a solution of muriate of zinc, by which the surface of copper 
was removed and the surface of silver again exposed. The fact had 
long been observed by workmen in silver-plating that, in soldering the 
parts of plated metal, if care be not taken not to heat them unduly, the 
silver will disappear. This effect was 8upi)osed to be produced by evap- 
oration, or the burning off, as it was called, of the plating. It is not 
improbable that a slow diffusion of one metal into the other takes place 
in the case of an alloy. Silver coins slightly alloyed with copper, after 
having lain long in the earth, are found covered with a salt of copper. 
This may be explained by supposing that the alloy of copper at the sur- 
£eh» of the coin enters into combination with the carbonic acid 

Digitized by ^ 


soil, aud, being thus removed, its pla<5e is supplied by a diffusion from 
within, and so on ; it is not improbable that a large portion of the alloy 
may be removed in progress of time, and the purity of the coin be con- 
siderably increased. It is known to the jeweler that articles of copper 
plated with gold lose their brilliancy after a whUe, and that this can be 
restored by boiling them in ammonia. This effect is probably produced 
by the ammonia acting on the copper and dissolving off its surface so 
as to expose the gold, which by diffusion had penetrated into the body 
of the metal. 

The slow diffusion of one metal into another at ordinary temi)erature8, 
would naturally require a long time to produce a perceptible effect, since 
it is probably only produced by the minute vibrations of the particles 
due to variations of temperature. 

The same principle is applied to the explanation of the phenomenon 
called segregatioD — such as the formation of nodules of flint in masses 
of carbonate of lime : or, in other words, to the explanation of the man- 
ner in which the molecular action, which is insensible at perceptible dis- 
tances, may produce results whicn would appear, at first sight, to be the 
effect of attraction acting at a distance. 

XIV. Another series of experiments had reference to the constitution 
of matter in regard to its state of liquidity and solidity, and they had 
their origin in the examination of the condition of the metal of the large 
gun constructed under the direction of Captain Stockton, by the explo- 
sion of which several pi-ominent members of the United States Govern- 
ment were killed at Washington. It was observed in testing the bars 
of iron made from this gun, that they varied much in tensile strength in 
different parts, and that, in breaking these bars, the solution of the con- 
tinuity took place first in the interior. This phenomenon was attributed 
to the more ready mobility of the outer molecules of the bars, the inner 
ones being surrounded by matter incapable of slipping, and hence the 
rupture. A similar effect is produced in a piece of thick copper wire, 
each end, when broken, exhibiting, at the point of rupture^ a cup-shaped 
surface, showing that the exterior ot the metal sustained its connection 
longer than the interior. From these observations the conclusion was 
drawn, tliat rigidity differs from liquidity more in a polarity which pre- 
vents slipping of the molecules, than in a difference of the attractive 
force with wWch the molecules are held together; or that it is more in 
accordance with the phenomena of cohesion to suppose that, in the case 
of a liquid, instead of the attraction of the molecules being neutralized 
by heat, the effect of this agent is merely to neutralize the polarity of 
the molecules, so as to give them perfect freedom of motion around any 
imaginable axis. In illustration of this subject, the comparative tenacity 
of pure water and water in which soap had been dissolved was measured 
by the usual method of ascertaining the weight required to detach fit)m 
the surface of each the same plate of wood, suspended from the beam of 
a balance, under the same condition of temperature and pressure. It 
was found, by this experiment, that the tenacity of pure water was 
greater than that of soap and water. This novel result is in accordance 
with the supposition that the mingling of the soap and the water inter- 
feres with the perfect mobility of the molecules, while at the same time 
it diminishes tlie attraction. 

XV. A series of experiments was also made on the tenacity of soap in 
films. For this purpose sheets of soap- water films were stretched upon 
rings, and the attempt made to obtain the tenacity of these by placing 
on them pellets of cotton until they were ruptured. The thickness of 
these films was roughly estimated by Newton's scale of the colors of thin 

Digitized by V^OO^ l(^ 


plates, and fipom the results the conclusion was arrived at that the at- 
tractive force of the molecules of water, for those of water, is approxi- 
mately equal to that of the molecules of ice for those of ice, and that the 
differeoce in this case, of the solidity and liquidity, is due to the want of 
mobility in the latter, which prevented the slipping of the molecules on 
each other. It is this extreme mobility of, the molecules of water that 
prevents the formation of permanent bubbles of it, and not a want of 

The roundness of drops of water is not due to the attraction of the 
whole mass, bjit merely to the action of the surface, which in all cases 
of curvature is endowed with an intense contractile power. 

This class of investigation also included the study of soap bubbles, 
and, the establishment of the fact of the coritractile power of these films. 
The curvature of the surface of a bubble tends to urge each particle 
toward the center, with a force inversely as the. diameter. Two bubbles 
beiqg connected, the smaller will collapse by expelling its contents into 
the larger. By employing frames of wire, soap bubbles were also made 
to assume various forms, by which capillarity and other phenomena 
were iUostrated. This subject was afterward taken up by Plateau, of 
Ghent. Another part of the same investigation was the study of the 
spreading of oil on water, the phenomenon being referred to the fact that 
the attraction of water for water is greater than that of oil for oil, while 
the attraction of the molecules of oil for each other is less than the 
attraction of the same molecules for water; hence the oil spreads over 
the water. This is shown from the fact that when a ruptiu*e is made in 
a liquid compound, consisting of a stratum of oil resting on water, the 
rupture takes place in the oil, and not between the oil and water. The 
verj' small distance at which the attraction takes place, is exhibited by 
placing a single drop of oil on a surface of water of a considerable ex- 
tent, when it .will diiSuse itself over the whole suiface. If, however, a 
second drop be placed upon the same surface, it will retain its globular 

XVI. Another contribution to science had reference to the origin of 
mechanical power and the nature of vital force. Mechanical power is 
defined to be that which is capable of ov^ercoming resistance; or, in the 
language of the engineer, that which is employed to do work. 

If we examine attentively the* condition of the crust of the earth, we 
find it, a« a general rule, in a state of permanent equilibrium. All the 
substances which constitute the material of the crust, such as acids and 
bases, with the exception of the indefinitely thin pellicle of vegetable 
and animal matter which exists at its surface, have all gone into a state 
of permanent combination^ the whole being in the condition of a burnt 
slag of a furnace, entirely inert, and capable in itself of no change. All 
the changes which we observ^e on the surface of the globe may be referred 
to action from without, from celestial space. 

The following is a list which will be found to include all the prime 
movers used at the present day, either directly or indirectly, in produc- 
ing molecular changes in matter : 

( Water i>ower. ^ Immediately referable 

Class I. < Tide power. > to celestial distiirb- 

( Wind power. ) ance. 

C Steam and other powers devel- ^ Immediately referable to 
Class n. } oi>ed by combustion. > what is called vital 

( Animal power. ) action. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The forces of gravity, coliesion, electricity, and chemical attractioQ 
tend to produce a state of permanent equilibrium on our planet; hence 
these principles in tliemselves are not primary, but secondary, agents in 
producing mechanical effects. As an example, we may take the case of 
water-power, which is approximately due to the return of the water to 
a state of stable equilibrium on the surface of the ocean ; but the pri- 
mary cause of the motion is the force which produced the elevation of 
the liquid in the form of vapor — namely, the radiant heat of the sun. 
Also, in the phenomena of combustion, the immediate source of the 
power evolved in the form of heat is the passage from an unstable state 
into one of stable combination of the carbon and hydrogen of the fuel 
with oxygen of the atmosphere. But thisi power may ultimately be re- 
solved into the force which caused the separation of these elements from 
their previous combination in the state of carbonic acid — ^namely, the 
radiant light of the sun. But the mechanical power exerted by animals 
is due to the passage of organized matter in the stomach from an un- 
stable to a stable equihbrium, or as it were from the combustion of the 
food. It therefore follows that animal power is referable to the same 
source as that from the combustion of fuel — ^namely, developed power 
of the sun's beams. But according to this view, what is vitality t It 
is t hat mysterious principle — not mechanical power — which determines 
the form and arranges the atoms of organized matter, employing for this 
purpose the power which is derived from the Ibod. 

These propositions were illustrated by different examples. Suppose a 
vegetable organism impregnated with a germ — a potato, for instance — 
is planted below the surface of the ground in a damp soil, under a tem- 
perature suflftcient for vegetation. If we examine it from time to time, we 
hnd it sending down rootlets into the earth and stems and leaves upward 
into the air. After the leAv^es have been fully expanded we shall find the 
tuber entirely exhausted, nothing but a skin remaining. The same effect 
will take place if the potato be placed in a warm cellar. It will con- 
tinue to grow until all the starch and gluten are exhausted, when it will 
cease to increase. If, however, we now place it in the light, it will com- 
mence to grow again, and increase in size and weight. If we weigh the 
potato previous to the experiment and the plant ^ter it has ceased to 
grow in the dark, we shall find that the weight of the latter is a little 
more than half that of the original tuber. The question then is, what 
has become of the material which filled the sac of the i)otato f The an- 
swer is, one part has run down into carbonic acid and water, and in this 
running down has evolved the power to build up the other part into the 
new plant. After the leaves have been fonned and the plant exposed to 
the light of the sun, the developed power of its rays decomposes the car- 
bonic acid of the atmosphere, and thus furnishes the pabulum and the 
power necessary to the further development of the organization. The 
same is the case with wheat and all other grains that are germinated in 
the earth. Besides the germ of tlie future plant, there is stored away 
around the germ the starch and gluten to furnish the power necessary 
to it« development and also the food to build it up until it reaches 
tire surface of the earth and can draw the source of its future growth 
from the power of the sunbeam. In the case of fungi and other plants 
that grow in the dark, they derive the power and the pabulum from sur- 
rounding vegetable matter in process of decay or in that of evolving 
power. A similar arrangement is found in regard to animal organiza- 
tion. It is well known that the egg continually diminishes in weight dur- 
ing the process of incubation, and the chick when fully formed weighs 
scarcely more than one-half the original weight of the egg. What is tJie 

Digitized by V^OO^ l(^ 


interpretation of this phenomenon t Simply that one part of the con- 
tents of the shell has run down into carbonic add and water, and thns 
evolved the power necessary to do the work of building up the foture 
animal. In like manner when the tadpole is converted into a frog the 
animal for a while loses weight. A portion of the organism of its tail 
has beeu expended developing the power necessary to the transforma- 
tion, while another portion has served for the material of the legs. 

What, then, is the office of vitality t We say that it is analogous to 
that of the engineer who directs the power of the steam-engine in the ex- 
ecution of its work. Without this, in the case of the egg, the materials, 
left to the undirected force of affinity, would end in simply producing 
chemical compounds — sulphuretted hydrogen, carbonic acid, &c. There 
is no special analogy between the process of crystallization and that 
of vital action. In the one case definite mathematical forms are the 
necessary remits, while in the other the results are precisely like those 
which are produced under the direction of will and intelligence, evincing 
a design and a purpose, making provision at one stage of the process for 
results to l>e attained at a later, and producing organs intended evidently 
for locomotion and perception. Not only is the result the same as that 
which is produced by human design, but in all cases the power with 
which this principle operates is the same as that with which the intelli- 
gent engineer produces his result. 

This doctrine was first given in a communication to the American 
Philosophical Society in December, 1844, and more fully developed in a 
paper published in the Patent Office Eeport in 1857. 

The publication in ftdl of three of the series of investigations herein 
described was made in the Transactions of the American Philosophical 
Society. Others were published in Silliman's Journal, and both these 
are noticed in the Koyal Society's Catalogue of Scientific Papers; but 
the remainder of them were published in the Proceedings of the Ameri- 
can Philosophical Society, and are not mentioned in the work just 
referred to. 

In 1846, while still at Princeton, I was requested by members of the 
Board of Kegents of the Smithsonian Institution, which was then just 
founded, to study the will of Smithson, and to give a plan of organiza- 
tion by which the object of the bequest might be realized. My conclu- 
sion was that the intention of the donor was to advance Science by origi- 
nal research and publication; that the establishment was. for the benefit 
of mankind generally, and that all unnecessary expenditures on local 
objects would be violations of the trust. The plan I proposed for the 
organization of the Institution was to assist men of science in making 
original researches, to publish these in a series of volumes, and to give 
a copy of these to every first-class library on the face of the earth. 

I was afterward called to take charge of the Institution and to carry 
out this plan, which has been the governing policy of the establishment 
from the beginning to the present time. 

One of the first enterprises of the Smithsonian Institution was the 
establishment of a system of simultaneous meteorological observations 
over the whole United States, especially for the study of the phenomena 
of American storms. 

For this purpose the assistance of Professor Guyot was obtained, who 
drew up a series of instructions for the observers, which was printed 
and distributed in all parts of the country. He also recommended the 
form of instruments best suUed to be used by the observers, and finally 
<»lculated, with immense labor, a volume of meteorological and physical 
tables for reducing and discussing observations. These tables were 

Digitized by V^tOO^ l(^ 


published by the Institution^ and are now in use in almost every part of 
the world in which the Bnghsh language is spoken. The prosecution of 
the system finally led to the application of the principles established to 
the predictions of the weather by means of the telegraph. 


Washington, D. C, December 4, 1876. 



[Prepared by Wm. B. Taylor: Published in the Bulletin of the Philoeophical Society 

of Washington, VoL U.] 

1825. OntheProdnction of Cold by the Barefiebctionof Ahr: accompanied 
with Experiments. (Presented Mar. 2.) Abstract, Trans. Al- 
bany Institutej vol. i. part ii. p. 36. 

1827. On some Modifications of the Electro-magnetic Apparatus. (Bead 
Oct. 10.) Trans. Albany Inst vol. i. pp. 22-24. 

1829. Topographical Sketch of the State of Kew York ; designed chiefly 
to show the Greneral Elevations and Depressions of its Surface. 
(Read Oct. 28.) Trans. Albany Inst. vol. i. pp. 87-112. 

1829. First Abstract of Meteorological Eecords of the State of New 
York, for 1828. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Bomeyn Beck.) 
Annual Bepart of Begents of University^ to the Legislature of 
New York.— Albany, 1829. 

1829. On the Mean Temperature of Twenty-seven different Places in the 

State of New York, for 1828. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Ro- 
meyn Beck.) Brewster^s JEdinburgh Jour. Science^ Oct. 1828, 
voL i. pp. 249-259. 

1830. Second Abstract of Meteorological Records of the State of New 

York for 1829. (In coiyunction with Dr. T. Romeyn Beck.) 
Annu^il Report of Begents of University^ to the Legislature of 
New York.— Albany, 1830. 

1831. On the Application of the Principle of the Galvanic Multiplier to 

Electxo magnetic Apparatus, and also to the development of 
great Magnetic power in soft iron, with small Gkilvanic Ele- 
ments. Silliman's American Jour. Science j Jan. 1831, voL xix. 
pp. 400-408. 

1831. Tabular Statement of the Latitudes, Longitudes, and Elevations, 
of 42 Meteorological Stations in New York. AimtioZ Report 
Regents of University to Legislature N. Y. 1831. 

1831. Third Abstract of Meteorological Records of State of New York 
for 1830. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Romeyn Beck.) Annual 
Beport of Begents of University^ to the Legislature of New 
York.— Albany, 1831. 

1831. An account of a large Electro-magnet, made for the Laboratory 
of Yale College. (In conjunction with Dr. Ten Eyck.) Silli- 
man's Am. Jour. 8ci. April, 1831, vol. xx. pp. 201-203. 

1831. On a Reciprocating Motion produced by Magnetic attraction and 
repulsion. Silliman's Am. Jour.^Sci. July, 1831, vol. xx. pp. 
340-343. Sturgeon's Annals of±!lectricity^ etc. vol. iiL pp. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



1832. On a Distnrbaiice of the Eartli's Magnetism in connection with 
the appearance of an Aurora as observed at Alibany on the 19th 
of April, 1831. (Communicated to the Albany Institute, Jan. 
26, 1832.) Report of Regents of University^ to the Legislature 
of New York. — Albany, 1832. Silliman's Am. Jour. Sci. July, 
1832, vol. xxii. pp. 143-155. 

1832. Fourth Abstract of Meteorological Records of the State of New 
York for 1831. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Romeyn Beck.) 
Annual Report of Regents of Unitersityj to the Legislature of 
Kew York.— Albany, 1831. 

1832. On the Production of Currents and Sparks of Electricity from 

Magnetism. Silliman's Am. Jour, ifci, July, 1832, vol. xxii. 
pp. 403-408. 

1833. Fifth Abstract of Meteorological Records of the State of New 

York, for 1832. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Romeyn Beck.) 
Annual Report of Regents of University^ to the Legislature of 
Kew York.— Albany, 1833. 

1835. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. I. Description 
of a Oalvanic Battery for producing Electricity of different in- 
tensities. (Read Jan. 1 4.) Transactions Am. Fhilosoph. Society j 
vol. V. pp. 217-222. Sturgeon's Annals of Electricityy etc. vol. 
L pp. 277-281. 

1835. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. 11. On the in- 
fluence of a Spiral Conductor in increasing the intensity of 
Electricity from a Galvanic arrangement of a single Pair, etc. 
(Read Feb. 6.) Trans. Amer. Phil. 8oc. vol. v. pp. 223-232. 
Sturgeon's Annals of JElectricityy etc. vol. i. pp. 282-290. Tay- 
lor's Scientific Memoirs^ vol. L pp. 540-647. 

1835. Facts in reference to the Spark, etc. from a long Conductor unit- 
ing the poles of a Galvanic Battery. Journal of Franklin In- 
stitutCj Mar. 1835, vol. xv. pp. 169, 170. Silliman^s Am. Jour. 
Sci. July, 1835, vol. xxviii. pp. 327-331. 

1837. A Notice of Electrical Researches, particularly in regard to the 

" lateral discharge." (Read berore the British Association at 
Liverpool, Sept. 1837.) Report Brit. Assoc. 1837. Part II. pp. 
22-24. Silliman's Am. Jour. Sd. April, 1838, vol. xxxiv. pp. 

1838. A Letter on the production directly ftx)m ordinary Electricity of 

Currents by Induction^ analogous to those obtained from Gal- 
vanism. (Read to Philosoph. Society, May 4.) Proceedings 
Am. Phil. Soc. vol. i. p. 14. 
183& Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. III. On Elec- 
too-djnnamic Induction. (Read Nov. 2.) Trans. Am. Phil. Soc. 
vol. vi. pp. 303-338. Silliman's Am. Jour. Sci. Jan. 1840, vol. 
xxxviii. pp. 209-243. Sturgeon's Annals of Electricity, etc.. vol. 
iv. pp. 281-310. L. E. D Phil. Mag. Mar. 1840, vol. xvi. pp. 
200-210 : pp. 254-265 : pp. 551^62. Becquerel's Traiti experi- 
mental de FElectricitSy etc. vol. v. pp. 87-107. Annales de Chimie ' 
et de Physique, Dec. 1841, 3d series : vol. iii. pp. 394-407. Pog- 
gendorff's AnnaUn der Physik und Chemie. Supplemental vol. 
i. (Nach Band li.) 1842, pp. 282-312. 

1839. A novel phenomenon of Capillary action : the transmission of Mer- 

cury through Lead. (Read Mar. 16.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. 
voL i. pp. 82, 83. SilUman's Am. Jour. Sci. Jan. 1839, vol. 
xxxviii. pp. 180, 181. Biblioth. UniverseUCj vol. xxix. pp. 175, 
176. Liebig's Annalen der Clwmiey etc. voL xL pp. 182, 183. 

Digitized by V^OO^ l(^ 


1839. A Letter on two distinct kinds of dynamic Induction by a Gal- 
Tanic current. (Bead to Phil. Soc. Oct. 18.) Proceedings Am, 
Phil. Soc. vol. i. pp. 134^136. 

1839. Observations of Meteors made Nov. 25, 1835, simultaneously at 

Princeton and at Philadelphia, for determining their difference 
of Longitude. (In conjunction with Professors A. D. Bache, S. 
Alexander, and J. P. Espy.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. Dec 
21, vol. i. pp. 162, 163. Silliman's Am. Jour. Sci. Oct. 1840, 
vol. xxxix. pp. 372, 373. 

1840. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. IV. On Electro- 

dynamic Induction. (Read June 19.) Tra/ns. Am. Phil. Soc. 
vol. viii. pp. 1-18. Silliman^s Am. Jour. Sci. April, 1841, voL 
xh. pp. 117-152. Sturgeon's Annals Electricity^ etc. vol. vii. 
pp. 21-66. L. K D. Phil. Mag. June, 1841, vol. xviii. pp. 482- 
614. AnnaJes de Chim. et Phys. Dec. 1841, 3a ser. vol. iii. pp. 
407-436. Poggendorff's Anrial. der Phys. und Chem. 1841, voL 
liv. pp. 84-97. 

1840. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. IV, — continued. 
Theoretical Considerations relating to Electro-dynamic Induc- 
tion. (Read Nov. 20.) Trans. Am. Phil. Soc. vol. viiL pp. 

1840. On the production of a reciprocating motion by the repulsion in 
the consecutive parts of a conductor through which a galvanic 
current is passing. (Bead Nov. 20.) Proceedings Am. Phil. 
Soc. vol. i. p. 301. 

1840. Electiicity from heated Water. (Read' Dec. 18.) Proceedings 

Am. Phil. Soc. vol. i. pp. 322-324. 

1841. Description of a simple and inexpensive form of Heliostat. (Read 

Sept. 17.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. ii. p. 97. 

1841. Observations on the effects of a Thunderstorm which visited 

Princeton on the evening of the 14th of July, 1841. (Read 
Nov. 5.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. ii. pp. 111-116. 

1842. R6sum6 des Recherches faits sur les Courants d'Induction. Ar- 

chives de VJSlectricitSy 1842, vol. ii. pp. 348-392. 

1842. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. V. On Electro- 

dynamic Induction : and on the oscillatory discharge. (Read 
June 17.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. ii. pp. 193-196. 

1843. On Phosphordgenic Emanation. (Read May 26.) Proceedings 

Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iii pp. 38-44. Walker's Electrical Magazine^ 

1845, vol. i. pp. 444-460. 
1843. On a new Method of determining the Velocity of Projectiles. 

(Read May 30.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iii. pp. 165-167. 

Walker's Electrical Maga:Hne, 1846, vol. i. pp. 250-362. 
1843. Nouvelles Experiences sur I'Induction d6veloppi6e par PElectricit^ 

ordinaire. (Translated.) Archives de rEle(kricitS, 1843, voL iii. 

pp. 484-488. 
1843. On the application of Melloni's thermo-electric apparatus to Me- 
teorological purposes. (Presented orally Nov. 3.) Proceedings 
Am. Phil. &>c. vol. iv. p. 22. 

1843. Theory of the discharge of the Leyden jar. (Presented Nov. 3.) 

Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 22, 23. 

1844. On the Cohesion of Liquids. (Read April 5.) Proceedings Am. 

Phil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 56, 57. Silliman's Am. Jour. Sci. Oct. 1844, 
vol. xlviii. pp. 215, 216. 
1844. On the Cohesion of Liquids, — continued. (Read May 17.) Pro- 
ceedings Am. PMl. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 84, 86. Sillnnan's Am. 

Digitized by ^OO^ 1(^ 


Jour. 8cL Oct 1844, vol. xlviii. pp. 216, 217. L. E. D. Phil. Mag. 
June, 1845, vol. xxxvi. pp. 541-M3. 
1844. Syllabus of Lectures on Physics, Princeton, 8vo, 1844. Repub- 
lished in part in Smithsonian Report^ 1856, pp. 187-220. 

1844. Classification and Sources of Mechanical Power. (Bead Dec. 20.) 

Proceedings Am. PhiL 8oc. vol. iv. pp. 127-129. 

1845. On the Coast Survey. Princeton iCeview. April, 1845, vol. xvii. 

pp. 321-344. 
1845. On the Relative Radiation of Heat by the Solar Spots. (Read 

June 20.) Proceedings Am. Phil. 8oo. vol. iv. pp. 173-176. 

Brief Abstract in Report Brit. Assoc. 1845, Part II. p. 6. 

Walker's Electrical Magazine^ 1846, voL ii. pp. 321-324. 

Froriep's Neue Nbtizenj etc., No. 826, 1846, vol. xxxviii. col. 

170-18^. Poggendorff's Annalen der Physilc nnd CJiemie, 1846, 

vol. Ixviii. pp. 102-104. 
1845. On the Capillarity of Metals. (Read June 20.) Proceedings Am. 

Phil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 176-178. Froriei)'8 Neue Notizeny etc., No. 

825, 1846, vol. xxxviii col. 168-160. Poggendorff's Annalen der 

Physik und Chemie. 2d supplemental vol. (Nach Band Ixxii.) 

1848, pp. 358-^1. 
1845. On the Protection of Buildings from Lightning. (Read June 20.) 

Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iv. p. 179. Silliman's Am. Jour. 

Sci. 1846, vol. ii. pp. 405, 406. Walker's Electrical Magazine^ 

1846, vol. ii. pp. 324-326. Froriep's Keue Notizen^ etc., Ko. 823, 

1846, vol. xxxviiL col. 133, 134. 
1845. An account of peculiar eftects on a house struck by Lightning. 

(Read June 20.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iv. p. 180. 
1845. On Color Bhndness. Princeton Review^ J^y> 1845, vol. xvii. pp. 


1845. On the discharge of Electricity through a long wire, etc. (Read 

Nov. 7.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 208, 209. 

1846. Repetition of Faraday's Experiment on the Polarization of Licjuids 

Under the influence of a galvanic current. (Read Jan. 16.) 
Proceedings. Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 229, 230. ' 

1846. Extrait d'une Lettre k M. de la Rive, sur les T^ldgraphes Elec 
triques dans les Etats-Unis de I'Am^rique. Bihlioth. Univer- 
selle. Archives, 1846. vol. ii. p. 178. 

1840. Report on the action or Electricity on the Telegraph Wires : and 
Telegraph-poles struck by Lightning. (Read June 19.) Pro 
ceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 200-268. Silliman's Am 
Jour. Sci. 1847, vol. iii. pp. 25-32. L. E. D. Phil. Mag. 1847^ 
voL XXX. pp. 186-194. Agricultural Reportj Commr. Pats. 1859, 
pp. 509-511. 

1846. On the ball supiK)rted by a water jet: also experiments in regard 
to the "inteiference" of heat (Read Oct. 16.) Proceedings 
Am. PhiL Soc. vol. iv. p. 285. 

1846. On the corpuscular hypothesis of the constitution of Matter. (Read 
Kov. 6.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 287-290. 

1846. On the Height of Aurorae. (Read Dec. 3.) Proceedings Am. Phil 

Soc. vol. iv. p. 370. 

1847. Programme of Organization of the Smithsonian Institution. (Pre- 
. sented to the Board of Regents, Dec. 8, 1847.) Smithsonian 

Report, 1847, pp. 120-132. 
1847. Article on ''Magnetism" for the Encyclopaedia Americana. En- 
cycl. Amer. 1847, voL xiv. pp. 412-426. 

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1848. On Heat. — A Thermal Telescope. Silliman^s Am. Jour, 8ci. Jan, 
1848, vol. V. pp. 113, 114. 

1848. Explanations and Illustrations of the Plan of the Smithsonian 

Institution. Silliman's Am. Jour, Sci, Nov. 1848, vol. vi. pp. 

1849. On the Eadiation of Heat. (Bead Oct. 19.) Proceedings Am, Phil. 

8oc. vol. V. p. 108. 

1850. Analysis of the dynamic phenomena of the Leyden jar. Proceed- 

ings Amer, Association^ Aug. 1850, pp. 377, 378. 

1851. On the Limit of Perceptibility of a d&ect and reflected Sound. 

Proceedings Amer. Association^ May, 1851, pp. 42, 43. 
1851. On the Theory of the so-called Imponderables. Proceedings Amer, 
Association^ Aug. 1851, pp. 84-91. 

1853. Address before the Metropolitan Mechanics' Institute, Washing- 

ington. (Delivered March 19.) 8vo. Washington, 1853, 19 pp. 

1854. Meteorological Tables of mean diurnal variations, etc. prepared as 

an Appendix to Mr. Bussell's Lectures on Meteorology. Smith- 
sonian Report for 1854, pp. 215-223. 

1854. Thoughts on Education; an Introductory Discourse before the 

Association for Advancement of Education. (Delivered Dec 
28.) Proceedings Assoc, Adv, Education. 4th Session, 1854, pp. 

1855. On the mode of Testing Building Materials, etc. Proceedings Am. 

Assoc. Aug. 1855, pp. 102-112. Silliman's Am. Jour. Sci. July, 

1856, vol. xxii. pp. 30-38: Smithsonian Report j 1856, pp. 

1855. On the effect of mingling Badiating Substances with Combustible 

Materials: ^or incombustible lx)dies with fuel). Proceedings 

Am. Assoc. Aug. 1855, pp. 112-116. 
1855. Account of Experiments on tho alleged spontaneous separation of 

Alcohol and Water. Proceed. Am. Assoc. Aug. 1855, pp. 140-144. 
1855. On the Induction of Electrical Currents. ^Eead Sept. 11.) Pro- 
ceedings Am. Academy of Arts^ etc. vol. iii. p. 198, 
1855. ]^ote on the Gyroscope. Api)endix to Lecture by' Prof. E. S. 

Snell. Smithsonian Report^ 1855, p. 190. 
1855. Eemarks on Eain-fkll at varying elevations. Smithsonian Report. 

1855, pp. 213, 214. 
1855. Directions for Meteorological Observations. (In conjunction with 

Prof. A. Guyot.) Smithsonian Report^ 1855, pp. 215-^44. 
1855. Circular of Inquiries relative to Earthquakes. Smithsonian Report. 

1855, p. 245, 
1855. Instructions for Observations of the Aurora. Smithsonian Report. 

1855, pp. 247-250. 
1855. On Green's Standard Barometer for the Smithsonian Institution. 

Smithsonian Report^ 1855. pp. 251-258. 
1855. Circular of Instructions on Registering the periodical phenomena 

of animal and vegetable life. Smithsonian Report. 1855, pp. 


1855. Meteorology in its connection with Agriculture. Part I. Agri- 

cultural Report of Commr. Pats, 1855, pp. 357-394. 

1856. On Acoustics applied to Public Buildings. Proceedings Am. Assoc. 

Aug. 1856, pp. 119-135, Smithsonian Report^ 1856, pp. 221-234. 
Canadian Journal^ 1857, vol. ii. pp. 130-140, 
1856. Account of a largo Sulphuric-acid Barometer in the Hall of the 
Smitlisonian Institution Building. Proceedings Am. Assoc. 
Aug. 1856, pp. 135-138. 

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1856, Meteorology in its connection with Agriculture. Part II, Gene- 

ral Atmosphexic Conditions. Agricultural Bepart of Commr. 
Pats. 1856, pp. 455-492. 

1857. Gommanication to the Board of Begents of the Smithsonian In- 

stitution, relative to a publication by Prof. Morse. Smithsonian 
Report^ 1857, pp. 85-88. 
1857. Statement in relation to the history of the Electro-magnetic Tel- 
egraph. Smithsonian Report^ 1857, pp. 99-106. 

1857. Meteorology in its connection with Agriculture, Part III. Ter- 

restrial Physics, and Temperature. Agricultural Report of 
Commr. Pats. 1857, pp. 419-506. 

1858. Meteorology in its connection with Agriculture, Part IV. Atmos- 

pheric Vapor, and Currents. Agricultural Report of Commr. 
Pat». 1858, pp. 429-493. 

1859. On Meteorology. Oa/nadian Naturalist and Oeologisty Aug. 1859, 

voL iv. pp. 289-291. 

1859. Application of the Telegraph to the Prediction of Changes of the 
Weather. (Bead Aug. 9.) Proceedings Am. Academy ofArtSy 
etc. vol. iv. pp. 271-275. 

1859. 3Ieteorology in its connection with Agriculture, Part V. Atmos- 
pheric Electricity. Agricultural Report of Commr. Pats. 1859, 
pp. 461-509. 

1859. On the Protection of Buildings from the effects of Lightning. 

Agricult Report, Com. Pat. 1859, pp. 611-524. 

1860. On the Conservation of Force. Silliman's Am. Jour. 8ci. July, 

1860, voL XXX. pp. 32-41. 
1860. Circular to Officeis of Hudson's Bay Company (April 20). Smith- 
sonian MiscelU CoUectionSj No. 137, voL viii pp. 1-6. 

1860. Description of Smithsonian Anemometer. Smiihsonian Report^ 

1860, pp. 414-416, 

1861. Letter on Aeronautics to Mr. T. S. C. Lowe. (March 11.) Smith- 

sonian Report^ 1860, pp. 118, 119. 
186L Article on " Magnetism ^ for the American Encyclopaedia. Edited 
by Bipley and Dana. Am. Encyol. 1861, vol. xi. pp. 61-63. 

1861. Article on "Meteorology'' for the American Encyclopedia. 

Edited b^ Ripley and Dana. Am. Encycl. 1861, voL xi. pp. 

1862. Beport of the Light House Board on the proposed Transfer of the 

Lights to the ]S^avy Department. Exec. Docts. 37th Cong. 2d 
Sess. Senate, Mis. Doc. No. 61, pp. 2-18. 

1863. Introduction to Memoir by Prof. J. Plateau. On the Figures of 

Equilibrium of a Liquid Mass, etc Smithsonian Report^ 1863, 
pp. 207j 208. 

1864. On Matenals for Combustion in Lamps of Light-Houses. (Bead 

Jan. 12, before the National Academy of Sciences.) [Not pub- 
lished in Proceedings.] 

1865. Beport relative to the Fire at the Smithsonian Institution, occur- 

ring Jan. 24th, 1865. (In coAJunction with Mayor Bichard 
Wallach.) Presented to the Begents February, 1865. Smith- 
sonian Reportj 1864, pp. 117-120. 
1865. Queries relative to Tornadoes: directions to observers. Smith- 
sonian Miscell. Collections^ No. 190, vol. x. pp. 1-4. 

1865. Bemarks on the Meteorology of the United States. Smithsonian 

Report, 1865, m. 50-59. 

1866. Beport on the Warming and Ventilating of the U. S. Capitol. 

(May 4.) forec. Doc. No. 100. fi. of Bep. 39th Cong. Ist Sess. 

PP* ^^ Digitized by ^^OOglC 


1866. Beport of Bitilding Committee on Repairs to Sm. Institution from 
Fire. (In conjunction with Genl. Richard Delafield, and Mayor 
Richard Wallach.) Presented to Regents April 28. Smitkr 
sonian Report^ 1865^ pp. 111-114. 

1866. On the aboriginal Migr^ition of the American races. Appendix 
to paper by F. Von fiellwald. Smithsonian Beport. 1860, pp. 

1866. Remarks on Vitality. Smithsonian Beportj 1866, pp. 386-388. 

1866. Meteorological Kotes. To Correspondents. Smithsonian' Report j 

1866, pp. 403-412. 

1867. Circular relating to Collections in Archaeology and Ethnology. 

(Jan. 15.) Smithsonian MiscelL CollectionSy No. 205, voL viii. 
pp. 1,2. 
J 867. Circular relative to Exchanges. (May 16.) Smithsoman Report^ 

1867, p. 71. 

1867. Suggestions relative to Objects of Scientific Investigation in Rus- 
. sian America. (May 27.) Smithsonian MiscelL Collections, No. 
207, vol. viii. pp. 1-7. 

1867. Notes on Atmospheric Electricity. To Correspondents. Smith- 

sonia/n Report^ 1867, pp. 320-323. 

1868. Appendix to a Notice of Schcenbein. Smithsonian Report, 1868, 

pp. 189-192. 

1869. Memoir of Alexander Dallas Bache. (Read April 16.) Biograph- 

ical Memoirs of Nat Acad. Sci. vol. i. pp. 181-212. Smithsonian 
Report, 1870, pp. 91-116. 

1870. Letter. On a Physical Observatory. (Dec. 29.) Smithsonian 

Report^ 1870, pp. 141-144. 

1871. Observations on the Rain-fall of the United States. Proceedings 

California Academy of Sciences, vol. iv, p. 185. 

1871. Instructions for Observations of Thunder-Storms. Smithsonian 
MiscelL Collections, No. 235, vol. x. p. 1. 

1871. Circular relative to Heights. For a toi)ographic chart of N. 
America. Smithsonian MiscelL Collections, No. 236, vol. x. p. 1. 

1871. Directions for constructing Lightnhig-Rods. Smithsonian MiscelL 
Collections, No. 237, vol. x. pp. 1-^. Silliman's Am. Jour. Sci. 
Nov. 1871, vol. ii. pp. 344-346. 

1871. Letter to Capt. C. F. Hall, in regard to the Scientific Operations 
of the Exi)edition toward the North Pole. (June 9.) Smith- 
sonian Report, 1871, pp. 364-366. 

1871. Suggestions as to Meteorological Observations; during the Expe- 
dition toward the North Pole. Smithsonian Report, 1871, pp. 

1871. Meteorological Notes and Remarks. Smithsonian Report, 1871, pp. 
452, 455, 456, 459, 461. 

1871. Effect of the Moon on the Weather. Smithsonian Report, 1871, 
pp. 460, 461. 

1871. Anniversary Address as President of the Philosophical Society of 

Washington. (Delivered Nov. 18.) Bulletin Phil. Soc. Wash- 
ington, vol. i. pp. 5-14. 

1872. Remarks on Cosmical Theories of Electricity and Magnetism: an 

Appendix to a Memoir by Prof. G. B. Douati. Smithsonian 
Report, 1872, pp. 307-309. 

1872. On certain Abnormal Phenomena of Sound, in connection ^vith 

Fog-signals. (Read Dec. 11.) Bulletin PhiL Soc. Washington, 
vol. i. p. 65, and Appendix ix. 8 pp. 

1873. Letter to John C. Green, Esq., of New York, on his establishment 

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of the "Henry Chair of Physics^ in the College of !New Jersey. 
Washington Daily Chronicle^ Mar. 21, 1873. 
1873. On Telegraphic Aunoancements of Astronomical Discoveries. 
(May.) Smithsonian MiscelL Collections^ No. 203, vol. xii pp. 

1873. Bemarks on the Light-House Service. Report of Light-House 

Board, 1873, pp. 3-7. 

1874, Report of Investigations relative to Fog-Signals, and certain ab- 

normal phenomena of Sound. Report of Light-Home Boardj 

1874. Appendix, pp. 83-117. 

1874. Memoir of Joseph Saxton. (Read Oct. 4.) Biographical Memoirs 
of Nat. Acad. Set. vol. i. pp. 287-310. 

1874. Bemarks on Recent Earthquakes in North Carolina. Smithsonian 

Report, 1874, pp. 259, 200. 

1875. Remarks on the Light-House Service. Report of Light-House 

Board, 1875, pp. 5-8. 
1875. An account of investigations relative to Illuminating Materials. 

Report of Light-House Board, 1875. Appendix, pp. 80-103. 
1875. Investigations relative to Sound. Report of Light-House Boardj 

1875. Appendix, pp. 104-120. 

1875. On the Organization of Local Scientific Societies. Smithsonian 

Report, 1875, pp. 217-219. 

1876. Article on "Fog,'^ for Johnson's Universal Cyclopaedia. Edited 

by Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Cycl. vol. ii. pp. 187, 188. 
1876. Article on ** Fog-Signals,'' for Johnson's Universal Cyclopaedia. 

Edited by Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Cycl. vol ii. pp. 188-190. 
1876. Article on ^^Hygrometry," for Johnson's Universal Cyclopsedia. 

Edited by Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Cycl. vol. ii. pp. 1072-1074. 

1876. Letter to Rev. S. B. Dod; On researches at Princeton. (Dated 

Dec. 4.) Princeton Memorial, May 10, 1878, 8vo., N. Y., pp. 51-70. 

1877. Article on "Lightning," for Johnson's Universal Cyclopaedia. 

Edited by Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Cycl. vol. iii. pp. 32^36. 
1877. Article on " Lightning-Rods," for Johnson's Universiil Cyclopaedia. 

Edited by Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Cycl. vol. iii. pp. 30, 37. 
1877. Remarks on the Light-House Service. Report of Light-House 

Board, 1877, pp. 3-7. 
1877. BeiK)rt of Operations relative to Fog-Signals. Report of Light- 

House Board, 1877. Appendix, pp. 01-72. 

1877. Address before the Philosophical Society of Washington. Bul- 

letin PhiL Soc. Washington, vol. ii. pp. 102-174. 

1878. On Thunder Storms. (Letter Oct. 13.) Journal Am. Electrical 

Society, 1878, vol. ii. pp. 37-43. 

1878. Letter to Joseph Patterson, Esq., of Philadelphia, on the "Joseph 
Henry Fund." (Dated Jan. 10.) Public Ledger and Transcript, 
May 14, 1878. The Press, of Philadelphia, May 14, 1878. 

1878. Report on the Ventilation of the Hall of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. (Jan. 20.) 45th Cong. 2d Sess. H. R. Report, No. 
119, pp. 1-0. 

1878. Report on the Use of the Polariscope in Saccharimetry. (Feb. 6.) 
3Iis. Doc. 45th Cong. 2d Sess. H. R. 

1878. Opening Address before National Academy of Sciences. (Read 

April 10.) Proceedings Nat. Acad. Sci. vol. i. part 2, pp. 127, 128. ' 

1878. Closing Address before National Academy of Sciences. (Read 
April 19.) Proceedings Nat. Acad. Sci. vol. i. part 2, pp. 129, 
S. Mis. 59 12 ^ T 

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The objcM^t of this appendix is to illustrate the operations of the Institution by 
reports of lectnres and extracts from correspondence, as well as to furnish information 
of a character suited especially to the observers and other persons interested in the 
promotion of knowledge. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


By M. Auago. 

[Translated for the Smithsonian Institution by M. A. Henry.] 

Daring the latter years of his life, Oeorge Cavier conseDted to 8pare 
a few moments from his immortal researches to make some notes for 
the benefit of his future biographers. One of these notes commences 
thus : '^ I have written so many eulogies, that it is not presumptions to 
suppose that some one will write mine." This remark of the illustrious 
naturalist has reminded me that the last secretary of the old Academy 
of Sciences, himself the author of fifty-four biographies of academicians 
equally remarkable for their conception and their expression, has not 
yet received in this assembly the tribute which on many accounts is 
justly his due. The fact that we have owed this debt to his memory 
half a century is only a more powerful reason that it should be.discharged 
without further delay. Our eulogies, as our memoirs, should have truth 
for their foundation and their object. But truth in regard to public men 
is difficult to attain, particularly when their lives have been passed in 
the midst of political storms. I therefore earnestly appeal to the few 
contemporaries of Oondorcet whom death has spared, for correction of 
any error I may have made in spite of my careful efibrts. 

It has perhaps been observed that I have called my article a biog- 
raphy and not as usual an historical eulogy. It is in fact a detailed biog- 
raphy I have the honor to present to the Academy. Without desiring 
to establish a precedent for future secretaries, I will explain how in this 
instance the old form did not fulfil the end I desired. 

Condorcet was no ordinary academician devoted alone to the labors 
of the closet: a speculative philosopher, and a citizen of unbiased judg- 
ment, — his life, his public and private conduct, and his works, were in- 
fluential in literary, economical, and political associations. No one suf- 
fered more from the instability of public favor, jealousy, and fanat- 
icism, — those three terrible scourges of reputation. In sketching a 
portrait, which it is my duty to render as faithful as possible, I cannot 
pretend to claim belief on mere assertion. It is not enough that for 
every characteristic feature I have endeavored with the greatest care 
to assure my own mind that my impressions are correct; I must enable 
the public to intelligently decide between the prevailing judgment and 
my own ; it is necessary, therefore, to carefully examine and combat 

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condobcet: a bioqbapht. 181 

the false views of those who, in my estimation, hare never truly com- 
prehended the majestic aspect presented to his generation by the great 

If I venture to hope that I have found truth where others have 
fallen into error, it is because I have had access to private sources of 
information. The distinguished daughter of our former secretary, and 
her illustrious husband, General O'Connor, have placed their rich 
archives at my disposal, with a kindness, unreserve, and liberality for 
which I cannot sufficiently thank tbem. Many manuscripts of Condorcet 
finished or incomplete^ his letters to Turgot, answers from the lord lieu- 
tenant of Limoges, the comptroller-general of finance, fifty two unpub- 
lished letters of Voltaire, the correspondence of Lagrange with the sec- 
retary of the Academy of Sciences and with d'Alembert, letters of Fred- 
erick the Great, of Franklin, of Mademoiselle de I'Espinasse, of Borda, of 
Mouge, &c., — such are the treasures I received from the honorable family 
of Condorcet. This is the material which has led me to clear and precise 
ideas of the part taken by our confrere in the ][)olitical, social, and intel- 
lectual movement of the second half of the eighteenth century. 

I have a fear that I have not sufficiently avoided a temptation result- 
ing from the kindness of General and Mrs. O'Connor. In going over 
the manuscript confided to me, my mind was involuntarily impressed 
with the apprehension of the thousand accidents which might happen to 
those precious pages, and the result has been an uncommon number of 
quotations, and therefore an expansion of points which perhaps might 
better have been only alluded to. I am aware of the inconvenience 
of soch elaboration, but consider as sufficient compensation that I have 
perhaps rescued from oblivion facts, opinions, and literary judgments 
of great value ; that I have made to speak in my place many eminent 
personages of the last century. 

One word as to the unusual length of this article. I am well aware of 
the demands it must make upon the patient attention of my hearers, 
and the great desirability of retrenchment even after the numerous 
omissions which had become necessary by the exigencies of a public 
reading, but I consider my mission unusual, and more than ordinarily 
solemn ; in fact I am about to undertake the rehabilitation of a col- 
league, and that in every point of view, scientific, literary, philosophical, 
and political. Any feeling of self-love that might interfere with this end 
would manifestly be unworthy of the assembly I address as well as of 


Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat de Condorcet, formerly perpetual sec- 
retary of the Academy of Sciences, was bom on the 17th of September, 
1743, in Picardy, in the small village of Kibemont, which had aireac|y given 
to the Academy the engineer Bioudel, celebrated by the construction o^ 

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the gate of Saint Denis. The father of Condorcet, M. Caritat, a captain 
of cavalry, originally the Dauphin's, was the yoanger brother of the 
prelate whom we see successively from 1741 bishop of Gap, of Auxerre, 
and of Lisieux. lie was also related to the cardinal of liernis and the 
famous archbishop of Vienna, M. d'Yso of Salfeon, who while bishop of 
Eodez made himself so prominent in the council of Embrdn by his 
warm support of the Jesuits. 

Condorcet had hardly attained his fourth year when he lost his 
father. The widow of Captain Caritat was very devotional in her 
tendencies. As, in her opinion, an infallible means of protecting her 
only son from the dangers of youth, she dedicated him to the Virgin 
and to the wearing of white garments. Condorcet accordingly wore 
for eight years the costume of a girl. This singular circumstance, as 
an effectual interdiction of all gymnastic exercises, retarded greatly the 
development of his physical powers. It also prevented him from enter- 
ing the public schools, since a boy in petticoats could not fail to be an 
object of derision. 

When he had attained his eleventh year, his uncle placed him under 
the care of one of the members of that celebrated Society of Jesus, 
, around which began already to gather the political storm. 

Not to trespass upon your time, permit me here a reflection. Madame 
Caritat de Condorcet, in the excess of her maternal love, subjected the 
childhood of the future secretary of the Academy to practices tending in 
more than one respect to superstition. The young Condorcet, as soon 
as he opened his eyes, was surrounded by a family composed of the 
highest dignitaries of the church and military ofl&cers, whose ideas were 
without exception aristocratic ; his first guides, his first instructors, were 
Jesuits. Behold the result of so unusual a concourse of circumstances. 
In politics, a complete rejection of all idea of hereditary prerogative ; 
in religion, scepticism carried to its utmost limits. This reflection con- 
firmed by many observations of a similar character history can furnish, 
should it not calm somewhat the ardor with which political and relig- 
ious parties, setting aside the rights of families, dispute by turns the 
monopoly of public instruction. Such a monopoly is dangerous only in 
a country where thought is chained; with the liberty of the press, 
reason, whatever may be done, will finally assert itself. 

In the month of August, Condorcet, then thirteen years of age, car- 
ried oflF the second prize in the institution the Jesuits had established 
at Eeims. In 1758 he commenced at Paris his mathematical studies^ at 
the College of Navarre. His success was brilliant and rapid, for at the 
end of ten months he maintained a very diflicult analytical thesis with 
so much distinction, that Clairaut, d'Alembert, and Fontaine, who ex- 
amined him, saluted him as a future member of the Academy. 

Such a horoscope from persons so eminent decided the future of the 
young mathematician. In spite of the resistance he foresaw on the 
part of his family, he resolved to devote himself to the pursuit of science, 

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condobcet: a bioqbapht. 183 

and established himself at Paris for the purpose with his old master, M. 
Girand de K^rondon. 

When Condorcet left college he was already a profound thinker. I 
find in a letter of 1775, addressed to Turgot, and entitled My confession 
offaithj that at the age of seventeen years the young scholar had seri- 
ously reflected npon the moral ideas of justice and virtue, and upon the 
question whether (leaving aside other considerations) it was to man's 
interest to be just and virtuous. I give his solution of the question, 
although not sure of its originality with him. I am quite convinced, 
however, of the novelty of the extreme resolution to which it led him. 

"A sentient being suffers from the evil which another sentient being 
experiences. In society, an unjust or criminal action cannot fail to injure 
some one. The author of such an action has, then, the consciousness of 
having caused suffering to ono of his own kind. If the sensibility with 
which nature has endowed him remains intact, he must therefore suffer 
himself. In order, then, not to destroy his natural sensibility he must, 
in self interest, strengthen his ideas of virtue and justice." 

This conclusion followed naturally from the premises. It led the 
youBg'Oondorcet to renounce entirely the chase, and prevented him from 
killing even insects, provided that they did not harm him. 

There were very few subjects in regard to which Condorcet had, even 
in early youth, vague and unformed opinions, and there is a beautiful 
harmony between the various periods of his laborious and agitated 
career. We see him, while still a youth, place kindness towards ani- 
mals among the most efQcacions means for preserving natural sen- 
sibility, — according to him, the principal source of all virtue. This idea 
controlled him throughout life. Even just before his death, in the 
admirable tract called Advice of an outlaw to his daughter^ he writes these 
touching exhortations: 

"My dear daughter, preserve in all. its purity, all its force, the feeling 
which leads us to share the sorrow of every sentient being. Do not 
confine your sensibilities to the sufferings of the buman race, but let 
your humanity extend even to animals ; render those happy which be- 
long to you; do not disdain to consider their well-being; be not insen- 
sible to their naive and sincere gratitude ; cause them no useless pain. 
• • • The want of foresight in animals is the only excuse for that 
barbarous law which impels them to uselessly destroy each other." 

I must seize the first opportunity which offers to show you Condorcet 
resolutely following these principles. Such as he was in morals we find 
him later in i>olitics. 

The first fruit of the meditations to which Condorcet devoted himself 
with M. (Jeraud de K6roudon was a work entitled Essay upon the inte- 
gral calculus. The author was only twenty-two when he presented it to 
the Academy. Allow me to preface with a few general reflections '"" " 
I have to say of this treatise and of other mathematical works 
dorcet ^ j 

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184 condorcet: a biography. 

We can hardly mention in the vast domain of science more than eight 
or ten important discoveries which have not required the successive ef- 
forts of several fjenerations of savans. Unhappily, inventors, from a mis- 
taken feeling oi self-love, are not ready to acknowledge to the historians 
of science the sources from which they have borrowed; they desire more 
to astonish than to instruct. They do not see it is far better to confess 
loyally their indebtedness than to incur the suspicion of bad faith. 

In the sciences of observation every course of stones composing a 
complete edifice is more or less apparent. Books, academic collections, 
tell when and by whom these courses have been laid. The public may 
count the stages which must be surmounted by him to whom is reserved 
the happiness of laying the cap-stone. Each has his appropriate share 
of glory in the work of centuries. 

Such is not the case with pure mathematics. The filiation of methods 
often escapes the most practised eye ; at each step we find processes, 
theories without apparent connection with any which precede. Certain 
geometers move majestically in the upper regions of space, while it is 
not easy to say who prepared the road for their ascent. We may add 
that this road is usually established upon a scaffolding taken care of 
by no one when the road is completed. To collect scattered dSbris is a 
task unpleasant, ungrateful, and without glory, and, for this triple rea- 
son, is seldom undertaken. 

The savans who devote themselves to pure mathematics without at- 
taining the first rank must resign themselves to all these disadvantages. 
I have not yet mentioned the most important; it results from the neces- 
sity the hi.storian of mathematics experiences of divesting his mind en- 
tirely of the light of his own century in judging of the works of former 
times. To this may be principally attributed the fact that Condorcet 
has never taken his true rank among geometers, and it is also on 
account of this difficulty that I have shrunk from the obligation of de- 
scribing in a few lines the numerous mathematical works of our former 
secretary. Happily, as I have already said, I have in my ^ands unpub- 
lished articles of Lagrange, of d'Alembert, in which the memoirs of Con- 
dorcet are noticed at the time of their publication. Condorcet was thus 
judged by men of the utmost competence; an advantage by no means 
always secured to mathematical workers in the appreciation they receive 
from their contemporaries. 

The first work of Condorcet, his 'Integral calculuSj was examined by 
an academical committee, in May, 17G5. The report of it, presented by 
d'Alembert, ends thus: *'This work indicates great talent and deserves 
the approbation of the Academy.^ 

Certain su|>erficial critics, who scarcely looked at the work of Condor- 
cet, spoke of it with ridicule and contempt, undoubtedly considering that 
the reporter of the academical committee treated it with culpable iudul- 
gence; and they seemed to have referred the matter to Lagrange, for 
this great geometer wrote to d'Alembert the Cth day of July, 17G5 : "The 

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Tute^jral calculus of Condorcct appears to me well wortby of tbe praises 
with wbicb you bave bouored it.'^ 

But setting tbese autbori ties aside, it is uone tbe less establisbed tbat 
tbis work contains tbe first serious well considered discussions of tbe 
conditions ofiutegrationoftbe ordinary differential equationsofallorderSy 
as well relatively to the integral of an immediately inferior order, as to 
tbe definitive integral. In it we also find tbe germs of several import- 
ant works, since completed, on equations witb finite differences. 

Tbe volume of tbe Academy of Sciences for 1772 contains tbe memoir 
in wbicb tbe inventive spirit ot Condorcet is most brilliantly maniiested. 
Tbe blind or systematic detractors of tbe mathematical ability of our 
former secretary are again controverted by the following verdict of La- 
grange upon tbis production : 

^^Tbe memoir is filled with great and fruitful ideas sufficient to bave 
supplied tbe material for several woiks. Tbe last article bas especially 
impressed me by its elegance and utility. Becurrent series bave so 
frequently been treated before, tbat tbe subject migbt bave been coa- 
sidered exhausted. In this article, bowever, is a new application of* 
these series, more important, in my opinion, tban any wbicb bad beeo- 
made before, it opens to us, so to Si».y, a new field for tbe perfection' 
of the Integral calculus.'' 

Without leaving tbe field of pure mathematics, I mi^bt find in the 
academic collections of Paris, Berlin, Bologna, St. Petersburg, works bear- 
ing upon tbe most difficult questions of tbe science which would equally 
attest the ability of our former secretary, but I must hasten to notice 
some applications of enalysis wbicb did bim no less honor. To do jus- 
tice to the subject in any reasonable time I cannot proceed by order of 

When we reflect upon the difficulties of all kinds astronomers have* 
to overcome in order to determine vitb precision tbe oibits of the^ 
planets; when we consider, furtber, tbat it has been possible to har- 
monize tbe positions taken by tbe planets at the apogee, at tbe perigee^ 
and all tbe intermediate points, only because they are constantly observ- 
able, we can banlly dare to conceive tbe hope of ever tracing in space the 
course of most of the comets, those vagrant stars which sbow tbemselvea 
for a few days, only to be lost for centuries. 

A very simple analytical calculus dissipates tbis impression. It shows 
that, speaking theoretically, three observations are more tban sufficient 
to determine a comet's orbit, supposed to be parabolic, but tbe elements' 
of this orbit are found to be so entangled in tbe equations tbat it appears 
difficult to free tbem without calculations of inconvenient lengtb. 

The problem tbns regarded was not really solved, even after Newton,. 
Fontaine, Euler, &c., had made it tbe subject of assiduous study. When, 
the Academy of Berlin proposed it as a prize subject, the astronomers,, 
instead of employing the methods of computation of these great geome- 
ters, still pursued the graphic systems, in which parabolas of cardboard 

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of various parameters are used. The aim of the Academy was clearly 
expressed — to have the processes employed, at once direct and simple. 
The award of the prize was to have been made in 1774, but it was de- 
ferred. In 1778 Condorcet shared it with M. Tempelhoflf. "Your beau- 
tiful essay," wrote Lagrange to our confrfere (June 8, 1778), ** would have 
received the entire prize if the application of your theory had been made 
to any particular comet. This condition was in the pro^jramme.'' The 
condition was certainly there, but Condorcet had, as he himself acknowl- 
edges, an extreme repugnance "for calculations which tax without pleas- 
ing the attention." Of course it will be understood that numerical 
calculations are meant. 

Among the great mathematical discoveries the world owes to France 
is a branch of calculus still very little appreciated, notwithstanding the 
services it has already rendered and those it still promises. This is the 
calculus of probabilities. 

I do not hesitate to claim this discovery of the calculus of probabili- 
ties for our country, notwithstanding the efforts which have been made 
to deprive her of the credit. To dignify as inventors of this calculus the 
authors of some numerical remarks, without precision upon the various 
ways of computing a certain sum of points, in the simultaneous throw 
of three dice, would be a baseless pretension, which even national 
prejudice could hardly excuse. 

Among the eminent services this calculus has rendered to mankind 
we should mention in the first line the abolition of the lottery and sev- 
eral other games of chance, which were as traps set for cupidity, cre- 
dulity, and ignorance. Thanks to the evident and simple principles 
upon which the new analysis is founded, it is no longer possible to dis- 
guise the frauds in which these financial combinations were formerly 
entrenched: discounts, annuities, tontines, insura.nces of all kinds, have 
lost their character of mystery and obscurity. 

On this ground the application of probabilities has been admitted 
without much resistance. But when Condorcet, after some essays of 
Nicolas Bernoulli, made incursion, by means of the new calculus, into 
the domain of jurisprudence and of moral and political science, an oppo- 
sition almost general warned him that he could not take possession of 
this field without a severe contest. To tell the truth, the contest still 
continues. In order to end it, the geometers, on the one hand, must 
consent to put the principles of probabilities in clear, precise terms, as 
free as possible from technical expressions ; while, on the other hand 
(and this is much more diflScult), the public must be led to recognize, 
that appreciation of certain very complex matters cannot be attained 
at a glance ; that it is impossible to speak pertinently of figures without 
mastering first at least the principles of enumeration 5 finally that there 
exist truths, legitimate connections, outside of those, the rudiments of 
which may have been acquired in youth, or by the reading of classical 

works. To comprehend that civil and criminal tribunals should be con- 
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Btituted so that the innocent may ran very little risk of condemnation 5 
in order also to comprehend that the chances of an unjust condemna- 
tion will be as much lessened as the judgment is rendered by the greater 
majority, the simple natural light of the most ordinary sentiments of 
humanity is all that is necessary. The problem becomes much more 
complicated when the question is to reconcile the proper guaranty of 
justice to the innocent with the need of society that the guilty shall 
not escape ; simple reason here gives only vague results, to these cal- 
culation alone can give precision. 

Let me repeat, that injudicial decisions there ate certain phases, cer- 
tain points of view, where resort may be had to calculation. By carrying 
into this labyrinth the torch of mathematical analysis, Condorcet not 
only proved his own courage, but opened an entirely new path. This, 
if pursued by geometers with a firm but cautious step, should lead 
to the discovery, in the social, judicial, and political organization of 
modern societies, of anomalies hithefto unsuspected. 

It is quite evident that in its incursions into the domain of jurispru- 
dence, the calculus of probabilities has for its object solely the numeri- 
cal comparison of the decisions obtained with such or such a majority; 
to find the relative value of such or such number of witnesses. I may 
then in terms of severe reproof direct the attention of the public to the 
passages La Harpe, in his Philosojphie du XVIII Si&jle^ has devoted to 
these applications of mathematics. It will be seen there, I dare say, 
with astonishment that the writer accuses our colleague of wishing to do 
away with testimony, and even written proof; of pretending to replace 
these advantageously by analytical formulae. Instead of desiring to 
refute expressions so far from academical as "this is a supremely ridicu- 
lous use of science,^it is "an extravagant conquest of the revolutionary 
philosophy ,** 'Hhis shows what insanity mathematics may produce,'' one 
regrets to see a man of real talent fallen into such incredible errors. As 
to the rest, it is a new proof that no one, not even an academician, can 
safely speak of that which he has not studied. 

I must confess that the mathematical writings of Condorcot lack the 
elegant clearness which distinguish in so high a degree the memoirs 
of Euler and of Lagrange. D'Alcmbert, who was himself not irre- 
proachable in this respect, endeavored, but with no great success, to 
induce our former secretary to take more pains. In March, 1772, he 
wrote to Lagrange : " I wish much that our friend Condorcet, who has 
so much sagacity, and such genius, had a better manner of expression, 
but it seems to be the nature of his mind to work in this way.'' This ex- 
cuse for him has more foundation than might readily be accepted. 
Euler, d'Alembert, Lagrange, with an equal talent for mathematics, had 
each entirely different modes of working. Euler calculated without 
apparent effort, as men breathe, as the birds fly. In a letter I have 
under my eyes, dated 17G0, d'Alembert thus speaks of himself to 
Lagrange : *' It is not in my nature to occupy myself with one thing 

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long at a time. I leave a subject and resume it again ns often as 
the humor takes me, without discouragement, and ordinarily this iirter- 
mittent perseverance is successfu].^ A third way in which genius 
works seems to be indicated by this passage, which I copy from a man- 
uscript note from the author of the ^lA^anique analytique: *' My occu- 
pations ore reduced to studying geometry tranquilly and in silence. 
As I am not pressed and work more for my own pleasure than from 
duty, like the lord of a chateau who builds, tears down, and rebuilds 
again, I make, unmake, and remake until I am tolerably content with 
the results, which, however, rarely ha|)pens.'' It is well, perhaps, that 
variety and individuality exist in mathematical researches, as iu every- 
thing elsej that ways the most diverse may equally lead men of ability 
to such discoveries as the mutual attraction of celestial bodies, the cause 
of the change in the obliquity of the ecliptic, the cause of the precession 
of the equinoxes, and that of the libration of the moon. 

It may be asked with very natural surprise how Condorcet could 
renounce so easily the success a scientific career promised him in order 
to throw himself into the discussions of a subject often very problemati- 
cal — social economy, and into the heated arena of politics. If this was a 
fault, many others also were equally culi>able. Moreover, here is the pal- 
liation: Early convinced that the human race is indefinitely perfectible, 
Condorcet (I cof>y) regarded its improvement *' as one of the pleasantest 
occupations, one of the first duties of the man who has strengthened 
his reason by study and meditation." lie expressed the same thought 
in other words when, in a letter to Voltaire, ho speaks with regret of 
returning to geometry: "It seems cold to work only for vainglory, when 
one desires to be working for the public good." 1 do not admit the distinc- 
tion ; the vainglory Condorcet speaks of was more directly conducive to 
the benefitof humanity than the researches, economical and philosophical^ 
which our confrere undertook with so much zest in the social com- 
munity. The good done by science has roots deeper and more extended 
than those from any other source. It is not subject to the fluctuations, 
the sudden caprices, the retrograde movements which so often produce 
perturbations iu society. The torch of science dissipates a hundred old 
and debasing prejudices, inveterate maladies of the moral and intel- 
lectual world. If Condorcet was inclined to insinuate that scientific dis- 
coveries have no direct or immediate influence upon the body politic, 
I will not revert to such well known benefactions as the marinei^s com- 
pass, gunpowder, and the steam-engine to refute the suggestion ; I will 
take one fact from a thousand that show what important events may 
result through the agency of the simplest inventions. 

In the year 1746 the Pretender had appeared in Scotland, and France 
was sending him po\« erf ul succor. The French fleet and the English squad- 
ron passed each other during a very dark night. The most vigilant of the 
watch saw nothing, gave no signal; but, unhappily for France and its 
ally, Admiral Kowles, on leaving London, was provided with a glass 

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condorcet: a biography. 189 

of jecent and very simple coDstruction, known under the name of the 
night-glass — a glass in which the artist had sacrificed magnifying power 
to illumination. With this instrument he descried, outlined on the hori- 
zon, numerous vessels ; he pursued them, reached them, captured them : 
the humble night-glass decided the destiny of the Stuarts. 

We may explain the sadness felt by Condorcet on returning to mathe- 
matics by the fact that even the most illustrious of geometers were at 
that time discouraged. They believed that they had reached the final 
limits of the science. We may judge this from the following passage I 
copy from a letter of Lagrange to d'Alembert: "I believe that the mine 
is already too deep, and, as we discover no new branches, sooner or later 
it must be abandoned. Chemistry and physics proflfer a richer reward, 
with easier research. The taste, too, of the century does not lie in our 
direction. It is not impossible that the pursuit of geometry in the acad- 
emies will some time become as rare as the study of Arabic is to-day in 
the universities.'' 

Nomination op Condorcet to the Academy of Sciences — His 


I learn by a letter from d'Alembert to Lagrange that Condorcet might 
have entered the Academy in 17G8, at the age of twenty five years. His 
parents objected ; to make science his official occupation was in their eyes 
derogatory to his station. He was received in 1769. His family yielded 
rather because tired of objecting than from conviction ; for, six years 
later, Condorcet, already perpetual secretary of the Academy, wrote to 
Turgot, *'Look with favor upon M. Thouvenel; he is the only one of my 
relatives who forgave me for not being a cavalry captain.** 

I must class among the first of Condorcet's academic works, an unpub- 
lished memoir upon the best organisation of learned societies. This 
was intended for the Spanish Government. Influenced by the desire to 
calm the susceptibilities of the court of Madrid, the author has underrated 
cert;iiu ]>hases of the question, but in it we fii>d general views the fruit 
of an enlightened judgment aud some curious anecdotes, which give the 
key, hitherto lost, to various provisions of our ancient academic rules. 

It would show an entire want of understanding of the Spain of the 
XYIIIth century to dream of establishing an academy in which the 
Medina Celi, the d'Ossuna, &c., as representatives of the nohUily^ would 
have no (lace. Condorcet made this concession ; he created honorarj^ 
members, but stipulated for an equality of rights which would, he hoped, 
*' raise the academicians in the eyes of the public, and perhaps in their 
own estimation, for savans unfortunately are not always philosophers." 
** To render,'* said Condorcet, " this union of the men of rank, who love 
science, and the savans devoted to her progress agreeable to both par- 
ties, this saying of Louis XIV should be kept in mind: < Do you know 
why Racine and M. de Cavoye agree so well! Racine with Cavoye ia 
a man of the ' " -oye with Racine is a man of jg^|ffg^\J^,(JQg^(^ 

190 condorcet: a biography. 

Perhaps I may be excased if, in this coQDectioD, I divulge from the 
maDOscript of Condorcet the origin of an article of the first ch«arter of 
oar society relating to the nomination of men of rank : 

" When we introduced,'' said our confrere, *' honorary members in the 
Academy, for fear that true savans might be troubled by the hauteur or 
abuse of power of the monks, Fontenelle proposed that the class of 
honorary members should be the only one to which they could be ad- 

In the hope of inducing the Spanish authorities not to be influenced in 
their choice of members by the religious principles of candidates. Con- 
dorcet proposed to them this question : '^ In an academy composed of the 
heathen Aristotle, the Brahmin Pythagoras, the Mussulman Alhasen, 
the Catholic Descartes, the Jansenist Pascal, the Ultramontane Cassini, 
the Calvinist Huygens, the Anglican Bacon, the Arian ISewton, the De- 
ist Leibnitz, would there beany question of preference in regard to sect! 
Think you there would be consideration in such an assembly for any- 
thing but pure 'geometry and physics !" 

Condorcet aspired at Madrid not only to secure for the director of the 
academy extended authority and large prerogatives; he desired, to 
use his own words, ^^ to free the savans from the indignity, especially 
distasteful to them, of being under the protection of subalterns — an evil| 
in fact, of all times and all countries." 

If the memoir of Condorcet ever sees the day, ir. may be considered that 
he pronounced too absolutely against the admission of foreigners among 
the resident members of the academies. If so, history may say in his 
defense that when he wrote it, the French Oovernment was prodi- 
gal of its favors to foreigners of moderate ability, while it neglected 
men of superior talent born in the country. Witness, for example, an 
Italian, — Boscovich, provided with a large pension by the same ministers 
who refused to d'Alembert, notwithstanding his genius, and contrary 
to all rule, the reversibility of 1,200 livres of revenue, proceeding from 
the succession of Clairaut. See also this same individual, who is men* 
tioned very slightingly by Lagrange and d'Alembert in the letters I have 
in hand, attempting to enter the Academy without waiting for a vacancy 
and on the point of success, thanks to the foolish admiration entertained 
for any one with a foreign termination to his name.* 

Until 1770 Condorcet seemed desirous of confining his attention ex- 
clusively to mathematical and economical studies.- After this period he 
threw himself into the world of literature. There will be no hesitation 
in discerning the cause of this revolution, when we remark that it 
coincides in date with the journey made by d'Alembert and Condorcet to 
Ferney, the home of Voltaire. Upon bis return the young academician 
of twenty-seven years wrote to Turgot, intendant of Limousin, ** I found 
Voltaire so full of activity and enthusiasm that' one would be tempted 
to believe him immortal, if a slight injustice towards Rousseau and too 
*Tbia paragroph scarcely doett Justice ^ Taished Italiaii physicist. 

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condorcet: a biography. 191 

great sensibility in regard to the follies of Fr^ron did not prove him to be 
homan." With reference to some articles in the Dictionnaire philoao- 
phiqHe{then anpnblished), articles the importance and originality of which 
may be a matter of doubt, Oondorcet says: ^'Voltaire works less for 
repatation than for the good of his cause. lie should not be judged as 
a philosopher but as an apostle." Gould there be an appreciation of 
certain works of Voltaire of greater delicacy and taste f 

Voltaire became a sort of Dalait-Lama of the intellectual world. His 
friends were undignified courtiers, blindly devoted to the caprices of 
their master, and endeavoring to obtain, by outrageous flattery and un- 
limited complaisance, one of those letters from Ferney, which then 
seemed in the eyes of the world a certain token of immortality. As for 
Condorcet, a few words will show his opinion of this foolish adulation. 

Madame Ne^ker received in 1770 some very flattering verses from Vol- 
taire. Her husband, successor of Turgot as comptroller-general of finances, 
received a large meed of praise also in these verses. All this was un- 
doubtedly a matter of little consequence, but Gondorcet's rigid sense of 
propriety was disturbed; he considered it an act of weakness, and feared 
that the reputation of the philosopher would snfier by it; his uneasiness 
and displeasure were vented in expressions of considerable severity. *' I 
am sorry for these verses. You do not consider the weight of your name. 
• • • Yom are like that class of people who would leave a Jupiter to 
applaud a harlequin. • • • I kuow your piece only by hearsay, but 
those who have read it tell me that apropos of Mme. Enveloppe (M. 
and Mme. Keeker) yon speak of Gato. This reminds me of a young for- 
eigner who once said to me, *1 have seen three great men in France, Vol- 
taire, d'Alembert, and the Abb6 de Voisenon."' 

One more example of his independence and loyal frankness : Voltaire 
was desirous of committing to the stage, at Paris, the tragedy he had 
composed in his old age, Irene. Condorcet, dreading a failure, resisted 
the pressing request of Voltaire to assist him in this step, with judicious 
and firm criticisms, couched in respectful language, however, in which 
is never lost the disciple addressing the master. Thus, for example, in 
a letter at the end of 1777 : " See, sir I See I you have accustomed us 
to perfection in action and in character, as Bacine has accustomed us to 
perfection in style. • • • If we are severe it is your own fault.'' 

Condorcet was a profound geometer. He belonged to tbat class of 
intellectual men who, even when witnessing the most beautiful tragedies 
of Corneille and Racine, would mentally ask at each scene, what does 
that prove! Voltaire surely ought to have cared little for the criticism. 
of a judge so incompetent. Listen and decide : 

" Ferney, January 12, 1778. 

" My Universal Philosopher; Your discretion is astonishing and 
your friendship day by day more dear to me. I am grieved and ashamed 
to have differed from you in regard to the last efibrt of an old man of 
eighty- four years. I believed, upon the faith of a few tears shed in my 

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presence by those who knew how to read and to assame without feeling 
passion, that if my little efifort was well depleted and well acted it might 
produce at Paris a happy effect. I was, unfortunately, mistaken. I 
was aware of most of the faults you have the kindness to i>oint out, 
and I add to them many others. I was endeavoring to make a picture 
out of a rough sketch, when your criticisms, dictated by friendship and 
by reason, came to increase my doubts of its worth. We can do noth- 
ing well in the arts of imagination and taste without the aid of an en- 
lightened iriend." 

I feel that I am dwelling too long upon a point of the life of Condorcet 
which would seem to be already suisaciently illustrated, but I am irre- 
sistibly' impelled to give a third and last incident of the frankness of 
Condorcet, which, in this case, truly amounted to a beautiful and noble 

Voltaire and Montesquieu, did not like each other. Montesquieu even * 
allowed this to be too evident. Voltaire, irritated by some pamphlets 
published by Montesquieu, wrote at Ferney, against the VEspritdes LoiSy 
several articles, which he sent to his friends in Paris, asking to have 
them published. Condorcet did not yield to the demand, imperious 
as it was, of the illustrious old mau. "Do you not see," he remon- 
strated, '* that to what you say to-day will be opposed your former 
praises of Moutesqui^ul His admirers, displeased by the way in which 
you take up some of his erroneous statements, will seek for similar inad- 
vertencies in your own works, and they cannot possibly fail to find such, 
for even Csesar describing his campaigns in his Commentaries, commits 
some inaccuracies. • • • You will, I hope, pardon me for notcomply- 
ing with your request in this matter, which you seem to have so much 
at heart. My attachment compels me to tell you what is for your advan- 
tage and not what will please you. If I loved you less, I would not dare 
to oppose you. I know the faults of Montesquieu, but he is worthy 
enough for you to overlook them." After this noble and loyal lan- 
guage, which was well calculated to rectify wrong ideas, it cannot be said 
that all the ])hiIo8ophers of the XVIlIth century were the vassals of 
Voltaire. The short response of the illustrious old man to (he remon- 
strances of Condorcet is a docuipent so valuable to the history of our lit- 
erature that I cannot allow it to lemaiu hidden in my portfolio ] here it 

"There is but one way to respond to what a true philosopher wrote 
me on the 20th of June* I thank him very sincerely. One ought not 
to blush to go to school, even if of the age of Methuselah • • • I 
repeat my thanks." 

Condorcet successor of Grandjean de Fouchy, as Secretary 
OF TUE Academy of Sciences — Appreciation of ms eulogies 
OF TUE Academicians. 

Fouteuelle had given so much 6clat to the functions of the secretary 
of the Academy of Sciences that at his death no one wished to succeed 


biiD. After much solicitation, Mairan consented to occupy provisionally 
the place in order to allow the learned body time enough to make a 
choice they would not afterwards regret. It was finally concluded that 
the only way to avoid all disagieeable comparison, was to give to the 
nephew of Corneille a successor who would not aspire to imitate him, 
and who would disarm all criticism by his extreme modesty. It was 
under these circumstances that in 1743 Grandjean do Fouchy became 
the official organ of tbe old Academy. 

Fouchy had occupied this position for more than thirty years when 
Gondorcet entered the learned comi>any. The infirmities of the perpe^ 
nal secretary and his age made him desirous of a collaborator, and for 
this purpose he east his eyes upon his youngest confrere. This was to 
create survivorship, to establish a precedent, and produced violent oppo- 
sition in the Academy. 

After ap excitement rarely caused by the discussion of an abstract 
principle, the question finally stood as follows : Thesuccessorof Fon tenelle, 
shall it l>e Bailly or Gondorcet ? The struggle could not fail to be noble 
and loyal in all that concerned these two gentlemen. Gondorcet, through- 
out his life modest in the extreme, thought it necessary to give some 
evidence of his fitness for the place, of his facility in the art of writing, 
an<l undertook t^ compose some academic eulogies. The regulation of 
1C99 imposed upon the perpetual secretary the obligation of paying a 
tribute of respect to the memory of the academicians removed by death. 
This is the origin of the uumerouA biographies, olten eloquent, always 
ingenious, left by Fontenelle, and confined all of them to the interval 
comprised between the last year of the XVlIth century and 1740. Fon- 
tenelle in his annals of the society does not take up the past, but com- 
mences only with the time of his entrance into office. The admirable 
collection he has left us, therefore, leaves a gap of thirty-three years. 
The aca<lemicians, deceased between 1666 and 1699, had no biographer, 
and it is in this third of a century that Gondorcet found the subjects for 
the exercise o( his pen, and among them such savans as Huygens, 
Boberval, Picard, Mariotte, Pcrrault, Boemer, &c. These, his first eulo- 
gies, are written with a profound knowledge of the subjects treated by 
the academicians, and in a simple, clear, and concise style. Gondorcet 
said, in sending them to Turgot, *^If I were alile to give them more 
brilliancy of expression they would be more pleasing, but nature has 
not endowed me with the gift of such union of words. If I attempt any- 
thing of the kind, one word, astonished at another, starts back in affright 
to see itself so associated. I am humiliated belore those whom in this 
respect nature has treated so much better than myself.'' Gondorcet was 
mistaken in his low estimate of work which procured for him a large^ 
mafority in the Academy, and of which Voltaire, d'AIembert, aj 
grange always spoke with great esteem. On the 9lh9t->^ 
d'AIembert wrote to Lagrange, " Gondorcet merited / 
secretary on account of the excellent eulogies he has\ 

g. Mis. 59 13 ^ . 

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194 condoecet: a biography. 

academicians deceased since 1666. • • ♦ They have had with us a 
complete success.^ " Your work," said Voltaire on the 1st of March, 1774, 
"is a monument to you. Ton always appear the master of those of 
whom you speak, but a master kind and modest; a king describing his 
subjects." Such commendation gave to these first essays of Gondorcet 
a rank from which m.ilevolence has in vain endeavored to reduce them. 
Gondorcet had hardly entered into his relation with M. de Pouchy, 
when he was commissioned to write several eulogies, among others that 
of the geometer Fontaine, deceased August 21, 1771. Difficulties un- 
foreseen immediately assailed him. When he wrote the biographies of 
the earlier members of the Academy of Sciences a century had placed 
all things in their proper light — persons, labors, and discoveries, — and 
there was nothing for the writer to do but to express, in terms more or 
less happy, the irrevocable and already known decrees of posterity, 
Now he found himself in contact with the requirements, almost always 
blind, of families; with contemporary susceptibility sometimes of friends, 
always of rivals 5 finally with opinions based upon prejudice or personal 
animosity, than which nothing in the intellectual world is more diffi- 
cult to eradicate. I suspect that Gondorcet exaggerated somewhat 
these difficulties, although they were undoubtedly real, for he certainly 
spent an enormous amount of labor on his first eulogy of a contem- 
poraneous academician. In his correspondence with Turgot we find 
him about the middle of 1772 already very busy with Fontaine. In 
the beginning of September ho sent to the illustrious intendant a 
first copy of his work. The same eulogy, retouched and altered, in 
September, 1773, was on its way to Limoges. This, it must bo ad- 
mitted, was a loug time to devote to an article of only twenty-five 
octavo pages. However, the maxim of Boileau was not in this instance 
without fruit. D'Alembert, writing to Lagrange, calls the eulogy of 
Fontaine a chef-cPceuvre. Voltaire says, in a letter of the 24th of De- 
cember, 1773, "You have made me pass a half hour very agreeably. • 

♦ ♦ You have relieved the dryness of the subject by a moral trea^ 
ment noble and profound ♦ • ♦ which will delight all honest men. 

♦ • ♦ If yQu need your copy I will return it to you, asking permis- 
sion to make oue for myself.^ Voltaire asking permission to copy for 
his own use a eulogy of Fontaine I Gould there be a greater compliment 
than this ? 

To the eulogy of Fontaine succeeded that, not less piquant, not less 
ingenious, not less philosophic, of Gondamine. The Academy and the 
public at large received it with unanimous applause. With the exception 
of the years 1775 and 177G, during which the Academy experienced no 
loss, the secretary had to provide annually until 1788, three, four, and 
even eight similar compositions. The style of these latter eulogies of 
Gondorcet is grave and noble. There is in them no trace of affectation 
of manner or of effort; no desire to produce effect by expression, to 
cover, by striking or eccentric language, feebleness of thought. 

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Oar confrere resisted with the more assurance the invasion of bad 
taste, the confusion of style, and the dithyrambic tendencies attempted 
by a certain school, because encouraged by Voltaire, who thus writes to 
him from Ferney, on the 18th of July, 1774 : " It is without doubt a 
misrortune to be born in a century of bad taste, but what will you have! 
The public for eighty years have been content to drink bad brandy at 
their repasts.'' 

It is now generally considered as a matter of hearsay that Condorcet 
lacked in his eulogies force, warmth, elegance, and sensibility. I differ 
from this opinion without fear of finding myself alone. In fact what 
have those who complain of his want of force to say to the following 
]K)rtrait of the academicians, happily few in number, whose names are 
connected with factious intrigue ? 

"Such intrigues have always been the rork of those men tormented 
with the feeling of their own insignificance, who seek to obtain by noise 
what they fail to merit by worth, who having no right to reputation of 
their own, would destroy that merited by others, and overcome by petty 
malice the men of genius who oppress them with the weight of their 

To the critics who have accused Condorcet of a want of sensibility, 
I oppose the following passage from the unpublished eulogy of fathers 
Jacquier and Le Seur: • • ♦ "Their friendship was not of that 
vulgar sort produced only by conformity of tastes and interests. It 
had its origin in a natural and irresistible attraction. In these deep 
and delicious friendships each endures the sufferings of his friend and 
enjoys all his pleasures. Ho has not a thought, he has not a senti- 
ment, which his friend does not share ; and if he is not always one with 
him, it is solely on account of the preference he gives him over himself. 
This friend is not only a man that one prefers to all other men, he is a 
being apart, whom^ none resembles ; it is not his qualities, his virtues 
that one loves in him, for others may have these and yet not be loved 
the same ; it is himself that one loves, and because it is himself. Those 
who have never experienced the sentiment can alone deny that it exists. 

• • • From the instant they encountered each other at Rome, every- 
thing was in common between them; troubles, pleasures, labors — glory 
even, the good, of all others, that two men very rarely share in good faith. 
Still each of them published separately a few articles, but these were of 
little importance, and in the judgment of him to whom they belonged 
not worthy to appear with the name of his friend. They desired perfect 
equality in the situations they occupied ; if one obtained a distinction, 
he was not content until he had procured a similar honor for bis friend. 

• • ♦ Father Jacquier had the misfortune to survive his friend. 
Father le Seur succumbed to his infirmities in 1770. Two days before 
bis decease he appeared to have lost all consciousness. *• Do you know 
met' said Father le Jacquier to him a few moments before his death. 
' Yes,' answered the dying man ; * I have just resolved a diflScult equa- 

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196 condorcet: a biogkaphy. 

tion with yoa.' Thus, in the midst of the destruction of his organs he 
had not forgotton the objects of his studies, and remembered the friend 
with whom he had all in common. Father Jacqaier was forcibly taken 
from I he arms of the dying man by the friends who, to use Jacquier's 
own expression, did not wish to lose them both. He resumed the chair 
his health had obliged him to vacate ; caring little to prolong the days 
no longer brightened by friendship, he still wished to fill them with 
useful labor and thus divert the feelings of sorrow which nothing could 
cure. He kuew better than to add the weight of time to that of grief. 
For minds that sufier, leisure is the most cruel torture." 

The valuation Condorcet has given of the divers virtues of Oonda- 
mine could, if we are not mistaken, be placed, without disadvantage, 
beside the eloquent speech Buffoii addressed to the illustrious traveler 
on the day of his reception by the French Academy. It would bear as 
well comparison in elegance with the eulogy of the same academician, 
pronounced by the Abb6 Delille, his successor. 

The biographical compositions of Condorcet please because they con- 
tain what should naturally be their essence. The history of the human 
mind is in them viewed from a high standard. In the choice of details 
the author has constantly in view instruction and utility rather than 
entertainment. Without trespassing in the least upon truth, whose 
demands he places before every other interest or consideration, Con- 
dorcet is constantly ruled by the thought that the dignity of the savant 
is to a certain degree that of science; and that any applause which 
might be accorded to a witty portrayal of a ridiculous incident, would 
be a poor return for even a slight wrong done to the most modest 
branch of human knowledge. 

We expect too much of Monsieur pltia que FonfenelUj as Voltaire calls 
our confrere in several unpublished letters I have in hand, if we hope to 
find in his eulogies any chapters devoted entirely to the subsequent 
history of the sciences. Condorcet did not commit the error of giving 
to his auditors food stronger than they could digest. 

Our former secretary was especially distinguished in his eulogies by 
t5e utmost impartiality, by philosophic thought, and by the interest he 
gave to the most simple biographical circumstances, by his constant 
abnegation of all personal feeling, of all party spirit, of all self-love. 
Condorcet described his own works, as well as those of Franklin, when 
he said of the latter : " We seek in them in vain for a line which could 
be suspected of having been written for his own glory.'' 

The long career of Franklin certainly does not offer a better instance 
of frank, true modesty than is contained in this passage from the eulogy 
of Fontaine : ^^I thought, at one time, said this geometer, that a young 
man with whom I had been brought into connection had more talent 
and might attain greater eminence than myself. I was jealous of him, 
but I have not feared him since."— *' The young man in question," added 
Condorcet, **is the author of this eulogy." 

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The class of the envious, always namerons and active, and ready to 
create disturbance, received through the mouth of Fontenelle a lesson 
of good sense and of wisdom, from which, unfortunately, they profited 
little. The first edition of Voltaire^s Age of Louis XIV was about to 
appear. This was too good an occasion to irritate two great men against 
each other to be neglected. *'How am I treated in this work!'' asked 
Fontenelle. He was answered : " Voltaire commences by declaring that 
yon are the only living person for whom he would make exception of the 
rule he had made for himself to speak only of the dead." ''Stop," said 
the secretary of the Academy, " I do not wish to hear more. With any- 
thing Voltaire may add to that I must be content." Notwithstanding 
some criticism, Bnffon, the immortal author of the Hiatoire Naturelle^ 
would surely have been equally satisfied could ho have heard the follow- 
ing tribute Condorcet renders to his eloquence: '*The passages which 
escape from the pen of BufTon show the sensibility as well as the pride 
of his nature; but always controlled by a superior judgment, they make 
us feel, so to say, as if we were conversing with a pure intelligence, with 
only enough humanity to understand us and to be interested in our weak- 
ness. ♦ » ♦ Posterity will place the works of this great naturalist 
besiv.e the dialogues of the disciple of Socrates and the teachings of the 
philosopher of Tusculum. • ♦ ♦ M. de BuflFon, more varied, more 
brilliant, more prodigal of images than the two great representatives of 
Greece and Kome, joined facility to energy, grace to majesty. His phi- 
losophy, with a character less prouounced, is more varied and less mel- 
ancholy. Aristotle seems to have written only for savants, Pliny for 
philosophers, M. de Bufibn for all enlightened men." 

After this quotation shall I injure Condorcet if I admit that Bufibn 
never testified any kindness for him ; that he was the most active friend 
of his rivals for the place of peri)etual secretary of the Academy of 
Sciences and for that of member of the French Academy ; that the idea 
of an academic censure, strongly recommended to the ministers of Louis 
XVI, and which constantly threatened the historian ot our labors, orig 
Inuted with Bafifon. It is worthy of note that the bickerings which at 
this time disturbed the Academy, as d'Alembert writes to Lagrange, on 
the 15th of April, 1775, to so great a degree "as to dishearten us for 
all serious study" and in which the illustrious naturalist took a prom- 
inent part, are revealed to us by the correspondence of La Harpe and 
numerous unpublished articles from other sources, but we seek in vain 
for any trace of them in the eulogies of the loyal secretary, 

Fontenelle left a gap in his eulogies of deceased academicians, from 
1609 to 1740 ; was this by design f One is tempted to think so, on 
observing among the omitted the Duke d'Escalonne, the famous Law 
and P5re Gouye. I will leave no doubt of the kind in regard to Condor- 
cet If he did not make a eulogy of the Duke de La Vrilli^re, it was 
because in his eyes the title of honorary' bestowed by the Academy 

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198 condorcet: a biography. 

did Dot reuder hoDorablo the minister who all his life made a cruel 
UDd scandalons use of the lettres de cachet His timid friends calcu- 
lated with uneasiness the danger of irritating M. de Maurepas, prime 
minister and brother-in-law of M. de la Vrillifere. Condorcet answered : 
" Would you prefer that I should be i)er8ecuted for a foolish act rather 
than for a just and moral onet Do you not think I will in the future 
be more easily pardoned for silence, than for speech, since I am resolveil, 
if compelled to speak, to tell exactly the truth?'' 

Eulogy of Michel de l'HOpital— Letter op a theologian to 
the atjthor op the dictionary op three centauries — let- 

OF Pascal's thoughts— Entrance op Condorcet into the 
French Academy. 

Hitherto we have followed step by step the geometer, the perpetual 
secretary of the Academy. Now we see our confrere throw himself with 
l)olemic ardor into literary and philosophical controversy, appearing 
before the public, often anonymously, in order, he said, not to add his 
personal enemies to the enemies of his cause. Condorcet was alrciidy 
by fair title secretary of our society when the French Academy issued 
as the subject for a competitive essay the eulogy of Michel de l'fldpit;il. 
Captivated by the scope, the interest, and also the beauty of the theme, 
our confrere entered the lists with all the ardor natural to a young man 
of unknown antecedents and with a reputation to make. lie did not 
obtain the prize, however ; the preference was given to a paper, to-day 
completely forgotten, by the Abb6 Eemi. Some of the causes for his 
disappointment have become known to me, and it may perhaps be worth 
while to notice them. 

What did the French Academy desire in proposing the eulogy of de 
l'H6pital for a prize essay ? A superficial review of the literary work 
of the illustrious chancellor, a general sketch of his politi{;al and admin- 
istrative acts, a homage to his memory, written in a more or less florid or 
exalted style. To-day this kind of composition is little to the taste ot 
the public; indeed what the celebrated assembly demanded could hardly 
be dignified with the name of a discourse. 

It was not thus Condorcet re^xarded the subject presented to him. In 
Lis mind utility was preferred to every other merit. The life of rH6- 
pital seemed to him to offer a salutary example to those finding them- 
selves in dillicult circumstances obliged to choose between repose and 
the public welfare. He did not hesitsite as to the character of his essay- 
It was a history of the life, not merely a eulogistic notice of I'Hdpital, he 
felt impelled to write. 

The life of I'lldpital : but this is a history of a century of terrible 
events, of a long succession of shameful disorders^ of barbarous and 

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cruel actions, a century of intolerance and fanaticism. The field was 
large, but was not too much for the power, the knowledge, and the zeal 
of the writer. In his beautiful work Condorcet first shows us I'Hdpital 
in Italy, with the constable of Bourbon, in the parliament and council 
of Bologna. We then see him at the head of the finances. Later it is 
the chancellor, the minister, the statesman whose acts are revealed to 
the reader. The history of a life so full of incident could not properly 
be reduced to the limits of an article which could be read in sixty min- 
utes — the time prescribed by the academy. Condorcet could not comply 
with this limitation, and his eulogy was three times longer than the 
programme allowed. This was sufficient in itself to make the rejection 
of the essay a foregone conclusion, to say nothing of the criticism the 
work excited in the literary Areopagus, of which the author of the 
Lyceum has preserved some 8i)ecimens. 

According to La Harpe, the style of the eulogy of I'Hdpital lacked 
harmony. The charge would have been a graver one had he said (if it 
could be said) that it lacked character, nerve, accuracy ; that the ideas 
were neither new nor profound, and in that case it would be only nec- 
essary as a refutation to refer to such passages as the following: 

" If Bertrandi (keeper of the seal of Henry II) has escaped the exe- 
cration of succeeding centuries, it is because always petty even in the 
midst of his greatest power, always subaltern, even while occupying the 
highest places, he was too insignificant to attract attention." 

" All the citizens wept over the ruin of their country. L'Hdpital alone 
did not despair. Hope never abandons noble souls. The love of the public 
good had with the chancellor all the characteristics, all the illusions of a 
veritable passion ; PHdpital did not ignore obstacles, bat felt his power 
to cope with them.'' 

But " the obscurity of the style." In this criticism, I do not know what 
La Harpe means by " phrases which double upon each other." He is cer- 
tainly clear enough, however, when he complains of Condorcet's want of 
dignity in speaking of vine-poles, billets of wood^ and little pies, in the 
eulogy of a chancellor. We ought to hope in the spirit of loyalty that 
this remark of La Harpe's did not influence the decision of the Academy. 
Would you know where the expressions occur which made the critic so 
indignant 1 They are in a note, in which with reason the author denounces 
the strange, we might better say the deplorable regulations, which 
the prohibitive system suggested to even such minds as that of Michel 
de I'Hdpital. Yes, gentlemen j the fact cannot be denied ; the virtu- 
ous chancellor prohibited the crying of little patties in the streets, in 
order — his words are unequivocal — to insure the pastry-shops from idle- 
ness and the people from indigestion. We may laugh in these days, wo 
may be astonished, but none the less the sale of fagots, and vine-poles also, 
was forbidden. The laws of the time even determined the form of breeches 
and of farthingales. The fact that I'Hdpital could approve such re- 
strictions, shows clearly to what point even men of genius may yield to 

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200 condorcet: a biography. 

the inflaeDce of their centary. But I do not know in trath what infla. 
ence Condorcet would have obeyed if he had substituted elaborate 
phrases for the technical expressions that PH6()ital, even with bis poet 
hand, employed, if he had used ornamental style apropos of farthingales, 
of billets of wood, and little patties. 

Voltaire certainly did not agree with La Harpe and his friends in their 
opinion of Condorcet, for, on the 3d of October, 1777, he writes to M. 
de Vaines, <^I have just read, with great satisfaction, I'Hdpital, by 
Condorcet ; all that he does bears the mark of a superior miud.^ I find 
expressions no less significant in an unpublished letter of Franklin : ^^ I 
have read with extreme pleasure your excellent eulogy of I'Hdpitat. 
I knew before that you were a great mathematician ; now I consider you 
one of the first statesmen of Europe." Such praise is surely equal in 
value to an academic reward. 

" The Lettre cfun ThMogien to the author of the Dictionnaire des trois 
Siicles is one of the most piquant articles published for several years. 
This pamphlet, unaccompanied by the name of the author, has been 
generally attributed to the illustrious patriarch of Ferney. Never has he 
been more happy in his criticisms, never more good-natured in his rail- 
lery." It is in such terms that a correspondence since published and be- 
come celebrated announced, in 1774, the anonymous pamphlet of Con- 

Voltaire, to whom the authorship was then unknown, thus writes to 
our confrere on the 20th of August, 1774 : " There are, in the Letter of 
a Tlwologiauj passages of humor, as well as of eloquence, worthy of 
Pascal.'' He then proceeds to prove that, notwithstanding a prevalent 
opinion, the Abb6 de Voisenon could not be the author of apiece so 
remarkable. As to himself (Voltaire), he ought not to be suspected of it, 
for the letter indicates a profound knowledge of mathematics; and, he 
adds, ^^ In consequence of the trouble I exi)erienced with the elements 
of Newton, I renounced, forty years ago, that class of studies." 

The audacity of the Letter of a Theologian^ since he was suspected of 
writing it, caused Voltaire great uneasiness, and he took every occasion 
to disown its authorship. ^' I do not wisb," he said, ^^at the age of 
eighty- three to die elsewhere than in my bed." He thus speaks of it to 
M. d'Argental (August 17, 1774) : " One could not be more eloquent 
nor yet more foolhardy. This work, as dangerons as it is admirable, 
will undoubtedly furnish means of attack to the enemies of philosophy. 
♦ ♦ ♦ I desire neither the glory of having written the Letter of a 
TJieologian nor the punishment which will follow it. I am sorry that so 
good a cause has been injured by being defended with too much spirit." 
Again Voltaire writes: "How could any one dare, unless in command 
of two hundred thousand soldiers, to publish so audacious a work t" 

If he took every occasion, as we have said, and every way to declare 
that he was not the author of the Lett^ of a Theologian^ mark well, this 
was because he needed repose and feared persecution ; not because his 

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self-love was alarmed. He is evidently far from coosidering this sap- 
position of the pablic injarious to him as a man of letters. 

To sach evidence as this would I call the attention of those who have 
considered Condorcet's style wanting in yeloqnence and depth. 

In the society of d'Alembert oar former confrere became a geometer. 
Tnrgot in his tarn inspired him with a taste for social economy. Their 
ideas, their hopes, their sentiments became identical. It woald really 
be impossible to mention a single point in science upon which Targot 
and Gondorcet differed, even in an almost imperceptible shade. They 
were both persuaded that in matters of commerce ^^ entire and absolute 
liberty is the only law of utility and even justice.'' They believed that the 
protection accorded " to one special branch of industry was detrimen- 
tal to all; • • • that the minute precautions with which legislators 
deemed it necessary to load their regulations were the fruits of timidity 
and ignorance, and without any compensation, the source of inconven- 
ience, intolerable vexations, and real losses. 

Turgot and Gondorcet were, if possible, still more closely anited upon 
the special question of commerce in grain. They maintained that 
entire liberty in this commerce was of equal importance to owners, to 
cultivators, to consumers, to employes; that there was no other rem- 
edy for the effects of local scarcity, no other means of reducing the mean 
price and diminishing the rate of variations, a matter of still more import- 
ance, for mean prices regulate the wages of the workmen. If, on 
the one hand, these rigorous principles were a formal discouragement to 
any yielding to disorderly clamors, or popular prejudices, on the other 
hand the two economists proclaimed distinctly that in times of scarcity 
the government ought to make provision for the poor. This relief 
should not, however, be dispensed blindly, but should be the price of 

Target and his friend professed the maxim that there exist for every 
man certain natural privileges of which no lot in life can legitimately 
deprive him. They considered among the most important of these the 
right to dispose of his own intelligence, his own hands, and his own labor. 
Our philosophers also advocated the abolition of a number of tedious 
formalities, often absurd and always costly, which made the condition 
of the workmen an odious slavery. If the mastership and the warden- 
ship were the despair of artisans and city workmen, the statutes of 
labor as severely affected the workmen of the rural districts. The 
labor statutes condemned to work without wages men who were depend- 
ent upon those very wages for their living. They allowed prodigality 
in labor because this cost the royal treasury nothing. The form of the 
requisitions, the hardness of the laws, the rigor of the penalties, added 
humiliation to misery. Turgot and Gondorcet were the most ardent 
adversaries of this cruel servitude. 

The two philosophers were not men who become tolerant of crime 
through seeing it constantly committed. The slave-trade excited their 

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Utmost abhorrence. If I bad tinieand space Icoald bere transcribe a quite 
recent letter from M. Glarkson, in wbicb this venerable gentleman renders 
toacbing bomage to the active efforts of Condorcet in bebalf of tbe holy 
crusade against this cruel practice, which had absorbed bis long life. It 
is therefore very appropriate that oar David has placed among tbe bas- 
reliefs of his beautiful statue of Outtenberg the noble figure of the former 
secretary of the Academy, as one of the most ardent enemies of the 
shameful brigandage, which for two centuries depopulated and corrupted 
the African continent. 

At the death of Louis XV the public voice called Turgot to the minis- 
try. First the marine was confided to him ; a month after (August 24, 
1774), the finances. In bis new and brilliant position Turgot did not 
forgettheiutimateconfidantof hiseconomicaland philosophical thoughts; 
he appointed Condorcet comptroller of currency. Oondorcet accepted 
this favor in terms worthy to be recorded. 

'* It is said in a certain quarter that you are very generous with the 
public funds when you desire to oblige your friends. I should be sorry 
to give these foolish words any appearance of foundation. I pray you 
therefore do nothing for me in the way of remuneration just now. 
Although not rich, I am not pressed. Let me fill the place; trust me 
with some important work ; wait until my efforts have truly deserved a 

Turgot during his ministry conceived, in 1776, a general plan for the 
interior navigation of the kingdom. This plan embraced a vast system 
of works for tbe improvement of the small as well as the large rivers, 
and for tbe excavation of canals to unite the natural ways of communi- 
cation. The celebrated minister, in this important matter, had to defend 
himself equally from the lovers of display, from those who seeing certain 
rivers separated on the map by only a little white paper, draw lines 
from one to the other and call these meaningless scratches their plans; 
from those, finally, who do not know how to gauge the power of running 
water, nor how to calculate its effects. Therefore he hastened to attach 
to the admiuistratiou three geometers of the Academy of Sciences, 
d'Alembert, Condorcet, and Bossut. Their mission was to examine 
plans and to supply any hydrographic information that might be required. 

These operations, undertaken on so grand a scale, were stopped by 
Target's pecuniary inability to pursue them. Notwithstanding their 
short continuance they have left enduring results, although perhaps in 
more than one instance the counsel, contained in a memoir of Condorcet, 
was not sufSciently regarded : ^' Trust only such men who, could they 
join the Loire to the Yellow River of China, would feel no vanity on that 
account, but consider that a little zeal and some knowledge was all that 
had been necessary to accomplish the work." 

The following extract from a letter of d'Alembert to Lagrange will 
appropriately end the brief notice just given of the works executed by 
the three geometers, the friends of Turgot : 

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" It will be told you that I am director of the canals of Davigation with 
a salary of G^OOO francs. This is not true. We, Gondorcet, Bossut, and 
myself have undertaken, through friendship for M. Turgot, to give him 
our advice in regard to these canals, but we have refused the salary 
offered to us by the comptroller of the finances." 

When 'Turgot, as minister, wished to carry out the reforms he had 
conceived as simple citizen ; when the comptroller-general found himself 
assailed by the cupidity of courtiers, the powers of parliament, and the 
generally conservative spirit of routine, which when great changes were 
to be made threw doubt upon the wisdom of bis plans, Condorcet did 
not remain a mere spectator of the struggle ; he on the contrary, en- 
tered into it with the utmost ardor ; to a refutation of the work of Necker 
against the free traffic in grain, he especially devoted his pen, and for 
the first time he resorts to irony in the assumed Letter of a laborer 
of Picardy to M. Necker^ prohibiiionht. Voltaire writes thus to our con- 
iifere August 7, 1775 : 

^' Ah, what a good thing, what a reasonable thing, and even what a beau- 
tiful thing is that Letter to the prohibitionist ; it must attract all enlight- 
ened minds, although there are few such left in Paris, by its good sense 
and taste." I would not dare to say that good sense and good taste had 
deserted the capital, but I know that the witty Letter to the prohibitionist 
received little notice, and that Condorcet was obliged to publish a new 
refutation, more detailed, more methodical, and more complete, of the 
work of the celebrated and rich banker of Geneva. This second article 
was modestly entitled, Reflexions upon the commerce in grain. The author 
in it considers successively how these cereals are produced, how the 
difference sometimes occurring between the harvests of one place and 
another can be alleviated, and the regulation effected in proportion to 
wages. He treats also of the mean price and of its influence, and of the 
equalization of prices ; of the effects of unbounded liberty in commerce, 
and the political advantages of such liberty. Condorcet then examines 
the prohibitions, both in a general way and in their relations to' the 
rights of property and legislation. Descending, finally, from these 
abstractions to questions more personal, without mentioning names, he 
inquires how the authors of the prohibitory measures acquired popu- 
larity ; he seeks for the origin of the prejudices of the people, and com- 
pletes his work by some critical reflections, touching certain prohibitory 
laws, and the obstacles opposed to the good that liberty could produce. 

All the aspects of a very difficult problem are frankly considered in a 
severe and simple style. The work is not a mere pamphlet ; it extends to 
more than two hundred printed pages. Its publication excited general 
opposition among the numerous partisans of Necker. Writers of the 
highest rank became from the time of its appearance the implacable 
enemies of Condorcet. The Academy of Sciences and the French Acad- 
emy were unpleasantly affected for many years by the consequences of 
the discords it produced. 

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204 condorcet: a biogbaphy. 

With the mind free from prejudice I have asked myself if, under the 
circumstances, our confrere overstepped the bounds of proper criticism. 
I suppose no one will contest his right, which he used, conscieutioasly, 
to call the work of Necker a mere translation of the celebrated dia- 
logues of the Abb6 Guliani into prosy and pompous language, or to 
refer in this connection to the Greek statue, graceful and beautifal, 
which an emperor caused to be gilded and so ruined its beauty ; but this 
aside, in going over the work of the former secretary of the Academy I 
find only one note that could have excited the anger of the warmest 
partisans of iNecker. This note mentions a certain nobleman, designated, 
however, only by his initials, who had made a bad translation of Tibullas. 
The friends of Condorcet, uneasy lest the criticism they foresaw would 
trouble him, endeavored to console him. " Do not fear for my reputa- 
tion as an author," he said to them ; ^^ I have just taken a better cook." 

Such in substance was the terrible epigram which disturbed the court 
and the city, which brought discord even into the bosom of the two 
Academies, and which endangered (he liberty of our conirfere. I was 
disposed to blame Condorcet. It seemed to me that his hostile atti- 
tude was assumed on insufScient grounds; that Necker and his adher- 
ents had not used in regard to him or Turgot injurious language, but I 
was mistaken. 

Buffoa wrote to the celebrated banker " I do not understand this 
hospital jargon — these beggars whom wo call economists." Necker ac- 
cused the same writers " of seeking to deceive others, and of imposing 
even upon themselves." He described them as imbeciles, and even for- 
got his dignity so far as to call them ferocious beasts. 

It is for the reader to decide whether any one has a right to complain 
who, after using a dagger upon his adversary, received in return only 
the prick of a pin. 

I have told how Condorcet entered into the administration of the cur- 
rency ; his manner of leaving this importatit post was not less noble. 
As soon as Necker became comptroller- general of the finances, our confrere 
wrote to M. de Maurepas, " I have pronounced my opinion too pobi- 
tively of the works of Necker and of his character to retain any place 
which depends upon his disposal. I should dislike to be dismissed, bat 
still more to be retained in ofQce, by a man of whom I have spoken as 
my conscience has forced me to speak of M. Necker. Permit me to place 
in your hands my resignation." 

Condorcet did not so exhaust his ire against contemporary heresies, 
as to have none left to combat the errors of ancient writers, even the 
most illustrious. 

No one is ignorant that Pascal was occupied a few years before his 
death with a work intended as a defense of the truth of the Christian 
religion. This work was not finished. D'Arnaud and Nicole published 
extracts from it under the title of PascaVs Thoughts upon Religion and upon 
other Subjects. Condorcet, suspecting that this w.ork bad been brought 

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to light in the iDterests of a party and of certain mystical systems 
rather than for the repatatlon of the author, procured, in the bcginDing of 
1776, a complete copy of the manascripts of Pascal, obtained from them 
various passages that the saints of Port-Royal, with their Jansenistic 
consciences, felt obliged to suppress, arranged them methodically, and 
composed of the whole an octavo volume of 507 pages, copies of which 
were sent to all the friends of the author, but which was not offered for 
sale. Frankness compels me to say that the compiler of this new edi- 
tion of Thoughts indulges, as did Arnaud, although in an entirely differ- 
ent spirit, in systematic suppressions. We hasten to add, however, that 
we have found a eulogy of Pascal by Condorcet, in which the great geome- 
ter, the ingenious physicist, the profound thinker, the eloquent writer 
is fully appreciated, and, with the most noble justice and impartiality, 
Condorcet adds critical commentaries to several of the Thoughts of Pas- 
cal. This audacity, in which Voltaire himself had already set him an 
example, excited great indignation ; it was considered a sacrilege. To- 
day the public would have been more indulgent. The admiration, amount- 
ing to veneration, of that time is out of fashion now, and, if I do not 
deceive myself, the tendency is in the opposite extreme. 'Wo no longer 
think of asking, is such a criticism of a celebrated author irreverent, 
but is it just. Considered, then, from our present point of view, the 
remarks of Condorcet may be approved almost without exception. 

When the author of the ThotightSj pushing misanthropy to its utmost 
limits, stated that if men were cognizant of all that was said by one of 
another there would be not four friends in the world; I like to find 
the commentator protesting against this antisocial decision and blaming 
Pascal for giving such a strange idea of his friends. 

When, in his ardent war against man's love of his own greatness, Pas- 
cal insinuates that our actions, eveu those apparently most disinterested, 
are always tinged with feelings of self-love, by the hope of publicity 
and applause which follows in its train ; I read with delight, in a note 
of the commentator, this touching anecdote borrowed from our Annates 
Maritimes^ and which contradicts the melancholy declaration of Pascal : 

" The vessel which contained the Chevalier de Lordat was wrecked 
and about to sink in view of the shores of France. The chevalier did 
not know how to swim ; a soldier, an excellent swimmer, offered, if he 
would spring with him into the sea and would cling' to his arm, to save 
him if possible. After swimming lor a long time the strength of the 
soldier became exhausted. M. de Lordat perceiving this endeavored to 
encourage him, but the soldier at last declared that they must both 
perish. ^And if you were alonef ^Perhaps 1 might still be able to save 
myself.' The chevalier let go his arm, and sank to the bottom of the 

Voltaire caused the book to be reprinted at his own expense in 1778. 
Hitherto it had received only a partial publicity. Voltaire, let it be 
said in his praise, thus became the editor and the commentator of th<" 

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206 condorcet: a biography. 

young secretary of the Academy of Sciences. This was for Condorcet 
a very great honor, and, moreover, deserved, on account of the merit 
of the work. Am I mistaken, however, in supposing that in this action 
of Voltaire with the sincere homage of the author of the Bictionnaire 
philosophique was mingled some animosity against the Jansenlstic writer; 
that the author of the Henriade^ of M4rop€^ and of so many admirable 
smaller x>oems, saw with a secret joy the infallibility of that man attacked 
who, placed in the first rank among prose writers, had dared to say, even 
after the publication of the Cid and of Cinna^ that "all poetry was in fact 
only a jargon^ f A certain amount of anger must have influenced the pen 
of the illustrious poet when, in his appreciation of a work in which the 
praise is always so frank and the criticism so moderate, he says to Con- 
dorcet, *' You have shown us the inside of the head of Serapis, and we 
find in it rats and spider-webs." 

In Condorcet^s edition of Pascal we find this thought oft repeated : 
^^ Speaking according to the natural light of reason, if there is a God, He 
is infinitely incomprehensible, since having no beginning and no end, he 
can have no connection with us. We are then capable of knowing neither 
what he is nor if he isP The portion of the phrase nor if he is is not found 
in the old editions of the works of the illustrious thinker. Condorcet 
seemed, therefore, to have been guilty of an inexcusable interpolation 
of the text. The suspicion that he had committed this grave offense 
gained weight when, in 1803, M. Eenouard, the (celebrated bibliographer, 
declared (these are his own words) that "an obstiua^-e search through the 
manuscripts of Pascal, preserved in the Royal Library, had failed to 
discover the three contested words." 

The fact stated by M. Eenouard must at the time have caused some 
uncertainty even in the minds of those who had never doubted the per- 
fect rectitude of Condorcet. In this day the testimony of this celebrated 
librarian is worth nothing, since we know that in 1812 M. Eenouard 
frankly acknowledged that the fourth page of the almost illegible manu- 
script of the library did in fact contain the thought of Pascal as Condor- 
cet had published it To cut short all gratuitous supposition in regard 
to this supposed alteration of the precious manuscript, I will add that 
the contested words are found in an edition of the Thoughts anterior 
to that of Condorcet, and published by Father Desmolets. 

I cannot allow *this opportunity to escape of justifying Condor- 
cet from an imputation of the same nature, shocking alike from its 
violence and its levity. Eead, gentlemen, the article upon Vauvenar- 
gueSj in the work of La Harpe, entitled Philosophy of theXVIIIth century. 
The irascible critic first recalls to memory the eloquent prayer which 
terminates the book of this moralist, and, immediately after accuses 
Condorcet of having afSrmed, with anti-religious views, that the prayer 
was not by Vauvenargues. It is in the Commentary upon the works of 
Voltaire^ says La Harpe, that this philosophical falsehood is to be found. 

Never, assuredly, was reproach of such gravity expressed in plainer 

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condorcet: a biography 207 

teims* What most be my reply t The most posi tire denial of the charge : 
CoDtloreet never pretended that the prayer was not by Vauvenargues ; 
he Baid very clearly, on the contrary, that it was. Can there be possibly 
soch a thing as an anti-philosophical falsehood 1 

At the end of one of his best eulogies, that of Franklin, onr confr&re 
blames very severely those persons who regulate their conduct upon 
the maxim, old but of low morality, the end justifies the meansj and 
denounces indignantly all success obtained by falsehood or perfidy. 
The actions of Condorcet were in accordance with these noble senti- 
ments; his life was one long contest, but he never had recourse to arms 
obtained through disloyalty and untruth. 

Formerly every nomination to the French Academy was an event, 
especially when men of the court were to be admitted. Condorcet took 
part more than once in the debates these occasions produced, but never 
allowed any consideration for rank to outweigh claims founded on true 
literary merit. When Saint-Lambert requested him to inform Turgot 
that the French Academy desired to give him a mark of its esteem and 
to nominate him in the place of the Duke of Saint Aignan, Condorcet, 
although he desired greatly that his friend should become a member 
of the Academy, very plainly advised him to decline the nomination 
if his acceptance should cause any one making literature a profession to 
be rejected by the court, which was at that lime always consulted before 
the election of a member. Our confrere thus manifested his true esteem 
and profound respect for the love of letters. 

nis counsel was addressed to one worthy to appreciate it. Turgot did 
even more than his friend had advised. Here is his answer : '^ Thank 
for me M. de Saint-Lambert. At this time it would not be suitable 
for me to draw njwn me the eyes of the public for any other purposes 
than the affairs of my ministry. I think there should be an effort made 
to elect La Harpe. If this does not succeed, why should not the Acad- 
emy take the Abb6 Barth^lemy t And there is M. Chabanon ; not to con- 
sider his claims to the nomination seems to me to be treating him very 
severely. He is not, whatever may be said, without talent. They were 
not always so particular.'' 

Perhaps in our time affairs are conducted as nobly; but even if this is 
so, I do not regret these citations, for they prove that our fathers were 
at least as worthy as ourselves. 

Condorcet entered into competition in 1782 for the place of Saurin in 
the French Academy, and carried the nomination by only one vote over 
Bailly, the other candidate. The contest over the election was very 
warm, d'Alembert representing one side and Buffon the other. I^ 
Hari)e gives some idea of the zeal manifested since he tells us that when 
the issue of the votes was declared d'Alembert cried out before the 
whole Academy: <^I am more pleased to have gained this victory than 
I would be if I bad found the quadrature of the circle." 

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208 condorcet: a bioqbaphy. 

The disfavor that this nomination drew upon Condorcet (the expres- 
sion of this feeling is found in most of the writings of the time) is to me 
inexplicable. Were the literary claims of Bailly to the nomination so 
indisputably superior to those of Condorcet that the latter could not hon- 
estly have received the preference f " Should speculation,^ d'Alembert 
maliciously remarks, " in regard to an ancient people, about whom every 
thing is known except their name and place of abode, overbalance the 
ingenious, learned, and often elegant descriptions of men of our timet" 

In any case, supposing Condorcet was mistaken in his claims to an 
Academic chair, the illusion was a very natural one. Thus iu the unpub- 
lished Correspondence of Voltaire, 1 have f o often quoted, I read, under 
the date of 1771: "You should do us the honor of belonging to the 
Academy. We have need of men who think as you do." Is this said in 
mere politeness, and not seriously T 

I pass over an Jnterval of five years, and on the 26th of February, 
1776, find in another letter of the great poet : " Belong to our Academy j 
your name and your eloquence will have some effect upon the set of 
hired assassins established in Paris." The same desire is repeated with 
variations in several letters of the month of March. That' of the 16th 
contains this passage : " I repeat to you that if you do not this time 
do me the honor of joining us, I shall go and pass the rest of my louti^ 
at the Academy of Berlin or that of St. Petersburg." The old man 
becomes afterward still more pressing: "I wish you would ])romise 
me," he writes on the 9th of April, 1776, *' for my comfort, that you will 
take my place in the Academy and aid our assembly with your words, 
as you have supported it with deeds. Be received by M. d'Alcmbert, and 
I will feel greater confidence that all will be well." 

Voltaire the sceptic doubts everything except the merit, the attach- 
ment, and the gratitude, of our confrere. 

We are now at the commencement of 1776. At the close of the year 
following, the 24th of November, 1777, the author of Mirope wrote again 
to our former secretary : " I shall always be tenderly attached as long as 
I live to him who forms the glory of the Academy of Sciences, and I 
hope he will some day do the same for the French Academy. Since the 
history of literature makes regretful mention of many candidates who 
entered the Academy only after soliciting long for the honor, I may be 
permitted to show one man of letters who became^an academician only 
after he had been long solicited." 

Condorcet testamentary executor of d'Axbmbebt. — His mar- 
riage WITH Mademoiselle de Grouchy. 

The ordinary, the regular course of things in this world brings some 
days of mourning, of tears, and of deep sorrow even into the least 
troubled lives. Condorcet experienced this in 1783. That year, on the 
20th of October, death robbed him of his friend, the illustrious geometer, 

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condoecet: a biography. 209 

who ander all circamstances had been his gaide, his support, his foster 

The great man, who had sacenmbed in the plenitude of his mathemati- 
cal genius, had assumed as a rule of conduct this maxim, which will no 
doubt by many be considered very puritanical: "The use of the super- 
fluous is wrong, when others are deprived of the necessary.'^ D' Alein bert 
acted through life upon this principle and died, therefore, without for- 
tune. In his latter days he was not only a prey to cruel physical psiin, 
the consequences of a dreadful malady (the stone) ; he suffered perhaps 
even more deeply from the impossibility to which he had been reduced 
by his constant generosity, of suitably rewarding his two faithful serv- 
ants. A classical incident occurred suddenly to the memory and brought 
l)eace to the mind of the celebrated academician. 

Eutamidas bequeathed to one of his friends the mission of taking care 
of his mother, to another of marrying his daughter ; a similar testamen- 
tary request confided to Condorcet the duty of providing annually for 
the needs of the two servants. The mission lasted long : Condorcet 
placed it among thenumber of his first.duties and fulfilled it with religious 
fidelity. General and Madame O'Connor have continued his example. 

The arduous duties devolving upon the secretary of the Academy of 
Sciences, the obligation of maintaining an active correspondence with 
the cultivated men of all countries of the civilized world, an irresistible 
inclination to take part in the debates of which the social and political 
condition of the country was every day the object, very early decided 
Condorcet to give up general society. The sacrifice could not have 
cost him much, for in the eulogy of Courtauvaux he denounces its 
amusements as dissipation without pleasure, vanity without motive, 
idleness without repose. Outside of his scientific relations our confrfere 
frequented only a few choice social gatherings where, in contact with the 
eminent men of the time, the young men learned to discuss the most 
exciting questions with moderation, delicacy, and modesty. It was 
in one of these family reunions that Condorcet met, for the first time ini 
1786, Mademoiselle Sophie de Grouchy, niece on her mother's side of M. 
M. Fr^tean and Dupaty, members of parliament. Like all the rest of the 
world our confrere admired, first, the rare beauty, the distinguished man- 
ners, the brilliant and cultivated mind of this young person. Soon he dis- 
covered that these attractions were united to a noble character, a heart 
most true, an affectionate and benevolent nature. Condorcet then be-- 
came strongly attached to the young lady, and demanded her in mar- 
riage. Our confrere was at this time forty three years of age, and had 
only a moderate income; but such was the violence of his passion that 
he made no written agreement, but only a verbal contract with his 
future parents lor the dowry of his wife. This, gentlemen, is very far 
from the calculating, cold disposition which has been attributed to Cba- 
dorcet, a character drawn from that of certain of his friends for whom. 
be professed an unlimited admiration, and with whom he was wroog.- 
fully supposed to be in sympathy in every way and upoi^ a]| ^j^^^^^e 
S. Mis. 69 — ^^ '^"' ^ S 


At tbat time, with .very few exceptions, savans, mathematiciaiis 
especially, were regarded by the world as beings of a separate onler of 
nature. They should, it was thought, like ecclesiastics, be interdicted 
the concert, tbe ball, the play. A geometer wbo married was considered 
as infringing upon a principle of right. Celibacy seemed the obliga- 
tory condition of whoever devoted himself to the sublime theories of 
analysis. Was this mistake altogether on the side of the public t Were 
not the geometers themselves instrumental in promoting such views t 
Listen, gentlemen, and judge for yourselves. 

D-Alembert receives indirectly from Berlin the information tbat 
Lagrange is about to give his name to one of his young relatives. He 
is somewhat astonished that a friend with whom he is in correspondence 
has told him nothing of such intentions. This does not, however, pre- 
vent him from mentioning the matter in a bantering way. "I learn," 
he writes on the 21st of September, 17G7, " that you have made what 
we philosophers call the perilous leap. • • ♦ A great mathematician 
ought above all things to know how to calculate his own happiness. I 
do not doubt, then, that, having made this calculation, you find mar- 
riage to be the solution." Lagrange responds in this singular manner: 
** I do not know whether I have calculated well or ill, or rather whether 
I have calculated at all, ♦ • ♦ or I may be like Leibnitz, who, by 
force of reflection, never could come to a determination. I must confess 
to you that I have never had a taste for marriage, ♦ ♦ ♦ but cir- 
cumstances have decided me • • • to engage one of my relatives 
• • • to come and take care of me and all that concerns me. If I 
have not informed you of this it was because it seemed to me a matter 
of so little importance in itself that it was not worth while to trouble 
yon with it." . 

The marriage of Gondorcet would also have appeared to me a matter 
of no importance, and not worth mentioning in this biography, if it had 
been, as d'Alembert suggests, the result of a calculation. On the con- 
trary, without calculation of any kind, but solely in obe<lience to the 
inspirations of a feeling heart, Gondorcet had the happiness to find a 
companion worthy of him. The beauty, grace, and wit of Madame de 
Gondorcet formed a sort of miracle. The most decided adversaries of 
marriage among the savans, especially the mother of the Duke de La 
Eochefoucauld, the respected Duchess d'Anville, yielded so far as to say 
to our former secretary, ** We pardon you." 

Gondorcet as a politician — A member of the municipality 
OP Paris — Gommissioner op the National Treasury — Member 
OP the Legislative Assembly — Member op the Gonvention — 
His vote in the trial op Louis XVI. 

We now enter into a series of considerations and events of a totally 
different natnre from those which have hitherto occupied our attention. 

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Condorcet is about to take part in the most important events of our rev- 
elation. * 

If it is trne, as a celebrated diplomatist bas said, that speech often 
serves to disguise thought, we may add that under certain circumstances, 
silence is a very unequivocal means of expression. Suppose, for example, 
that I say nothing of the political life of Cbndorcet, who would believe 
that it was not made up of blamable deeds ? Ueaven forbid that I 
shoQld voluntarily give reason for a conjecture so contrary to the truth, 
that I should become the tacit auxiliary of the many scurrilous writers 
who attacked with a sort of fury the former secretary of this Academy. 
Every one, in his own cause, has assuredly the right to meet with silent 
contempt the abuse of adversaries he may consider beneath notice ; but 
this alone is not sufficient for him whose mission it is to defend an hon- 
orable citizen, an illustrious brother, the victim of the basest calumnies. 

In the society of Turgot our brother became a man of progress not 
only in social but political economy. Placed near the seat of power for 
eighteen months, he saw in their most secret details the play of the worm- 
eaten wheels of the ancient monarchy. Condorcet comprehended their 
insufficiency, and, although changes were to him personally prejudicial, 
he never allowed an opportunity to escape of urging their necessity. I 
do not know whether such noble disinterestedness is common at pres- 
ent; it was not at least in the times of which I speak. Witness, for 
instance, the naive question addressed to Condorcet by a Fermier g6n6ral^ 
enjoying an income of two or three thousand livres: " Why innovate? 
Are we not well off!" 

l)o, assuredly; honest men were not common in the days when Tur- 
got, the minister, said to our confrere: '* You do very wrong to write to 
me by the post; you naay injure yourself and your friends. Write to 
me, I pray you, only by special opportunity, or by my couriers." 

The ^^ black cabinet" opening letters addressed to a minister 1 Is any- 
thing further necessary to show the character of the times f In order to 
understand the ameliorations France desired, Condorcet did not need to 
consult the instructions that in 1780 the members of the constituent 
assembly brought from all parts of the kingdom. His programme of 
action, perfectly in accord with the b^st conceived resolutions of the 
provincial assemblies, was written out in advance. He had found its 
elements in an earnest and philosophical study of the natural rights^ of 
which a society well organized will not, and cannot, deprive the most 
humble citizen. ' The ideas, the wishes, the hopes of our confrere form 
the chief interest of the Life of Turgot^ published in 1786. Today, 
even, when most of the piivileges claimed by Condorcet in the name of 
reason and humanity have been definitely acquired, publicists may still 
learn much from reading the work of our conlrfere. They will see in it, 
with astonishment i)erhaps, but also with full conviction, that the 
vague principle of the greatest good of society has often been a fruitful 
source of injurious laws, while they will always secure regulations and 

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prescriptioDs the Decessity aod the justice of which mast be ackDovl- 
edged by all, when intent only upon securing to the public, the enjoy- 
ment of their natural rights. 

I do not know whether, in the present state of opinion, my apprecia- 
tion of the work of the illustrious philosopher will be generally approved. 
I may at least assert that every loyal man must experience one senti- 
ment, that of respect, in witnessing with what vigor, since the year 
1786, the Marquis Caritat de Coudorcet attacked the privileges of the 

Coudorcet after much study had written, at the dictation of his con- 
science, the imperative mandate he was prepared to issue, if circumstances 
ever gave him the political power. I perceive in this programme many 
points, which have never been decided according to his views, either in 
fact by our assemblies, or in theory by publicists in general. 

Coudorcet did not wish two chambers ; but that which he demanded, 
particularly that which seemed to him the base of a well considered social 
organization, was a legal and periodical means of revising the constita- 
tion, so as to adjust peacefully the disafifectiou of parties. 

The combination of two chambers seemed to him a useless com- 
plication, iu some cases leading to results evidently contrary to the 
wish of the majority. Ho believed ^' that in the deliberations of a single 
assembly are found all the elements necessary to secure to legislative 
enactments all the consideration and the maturity ot judgment required 
for their justice and wisdom.'' Franklin, a decided partisan of a single 
chamber, confirmed Coudorcet in his views. The eulogy of this great 
man furnished later to our brother a natural occasion for the devel- 
opment of his opinion, which he seized with avidity. Also, in this same 
eulogy the learned secretary proclaimed as an inevitable source of evils 
and disorder any constitution considered unchangable, any constitution 
which did not provide means for modifying such of its regulations as 
might ceaae to bo in harmony with the state of society. 

With Coudorcet as simple citizen or as member of our assemblies, the 
political man is concentrated into these two ideas, — natural rights, rights 
imprescriptible which no law can infringe without injustice, and po- 
litical constitutions containing in themselves a legal means for the 
leform of abuses. This was his evangel. Whenever his favorite prin- 
ciples are combatted or even only questioned he hastens to their defense. 
His language then becomes animated, passionate. Read, for example, 
this passage from a letter he wrote on the 30th of August, 1789, at the 
time when the constituent assembly had just rejected the proposition 
made by Mathieu de M^ontmorency to secure by means of an express 
proviso the possibility of future impiovements in the fundamental 
compact : 

^*If our legislators aspire to work for eternity, they ought to bring 
down a constitution from the skies.. To Ueaven has alone been accorded 

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condobcbt: a biography. 213 

the right to give immotable laws. We have lost the art of working 
miracles and of making oracles speak. The Pythoness of Delphos and 
the thunders of Sinai have for ages been reduced to silence. The legis- 
lators of to-day are but men, who can give to men — ^their equals, only 
laws as fleeting as themselves." 

The first functions of a political order exercised by Gondorcet were 
those of member of the municipality of Paris. In this capacity he 
was the author of the celebrated address presented by the city to the 
constituent assembly^ to demand the reform of a very important law, 
the law which had just been passed, and which made the right of citi- 
zenship and the other political rights to depend upon the quota of its 
contributions. The remonstrances of Gondorcet and his colleagues 
were not without effect. 

Gondorcet was still exercising his municipal functions when he de- 
manded, this time in his own name, that the King should always select 
his ministers from a list of those qualified, the formation of which 
should be one of the principal prerogatives of the representative as- 
sembly. Would such a process prevent a bad selection t I certainly 
hesitate to affirm it. I am certain that the list of candidates would 
be very difficult to make, and would compel laborious investigation. 

Gondorcet was much more in sympathy with the actual world when he 
pointy out the dangers attached to the creation of assignats, when he 
indicated almost infallible means for obviating all the inconveniences of 
this paper money. 

The flight of the King and the circumstances of his return threw dis- 
couragement over the minds of the most decided partisans of the mon- 
arohial system. La Eochefoucauld, Dupont de Nemours, and others, 
even held meetings where the means of establishing a republic without too 
great violence were very seriously discussed. This project was after- 
wards completely abandoned. Gondorcet, an active member of these 
extra-parliamentary debates, did not considjBr himself bound by the 
decisions of the majority to keep secret the opinions he had given ; 
he allowed his speeches to be read at the Cercle Socialj and this assem- 
bly caused them to be printed. From this time dates the unhappy 
rapture which suddenly, and without hope of restoration, separated 
him from his best, his oldest friends, and in particular from La Boche- 

When the questions which the arrest of Yarennes inevitably raised 
reached the national tribune, Gondorcet, although he was not a 
member of the assembly, became in it an object of attacks and of 
violent personal abuse. The illustrious publicist admitted without 
hesitation that his opinions might be in part erroneous; but con- 
sidering the character of those who made such fierce war against 
bira, their disdain excited his surprise. ''Was it excessively ridicu- 
lous," he asked himself (I copy here a passage from a manuscript), 
'' that a geometer of forty-eight years, who for nearly a third of a cen- 

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tary had studied political science, who was the first perhaps to apply 
mathematical calculation to this science, should be permitted to have a 
personal opinion npon questions debated in the constituent assembly t" 
Parliamentary customs were not yet fully developed. Condorcet could 
not divine that a day would come when, in order to be allowed to speak 
upon all subjects, it should be imperatively necessary to have made no 
special study of any. 

In L791, after quitting the municipality of Paris, Condorcet became one 
of the six commissioners of the national treasury. The memoirs which 
he published at this period would occupy a prominent place in the eulogy 
of an author less fruitful and less celebrated. Embarrassed by want of 
time and abundance of material, I cannot even mention their titles. 

Condorcet, having renounced towards the latter months of 1791 the 
place of commissioner of the treasury, went to Paris as candidate for the 
legislative assembly. Never was there a candidate more violently op- 
posed, never did the venal press indulge in more libels. It was my duty 
to investigate and weigh these emanations of party spirit; but I should 
weary my audience if I attempted to give an analysis of them. I must 
confess that, amidst the torrent of calumnies and absurd accusations, 
there was one assertion made in such a clear and categorical manner 
that in the absence of an equally formal denial, which I could nowhere 
find, the wrong attributed to our confrere made me really uneasy. 
Thanks to the respectable M . Cardot, for a long time Condorcet's secre- 
tary, all clouds of doubt have di sappeared. Condorcet, said his accuser, 
visited the court nightly, and especially Monsieur^ brother to the King, 
even at the time when he was attacking them in his writings, and then 
follow the names of persons who could testify to these clandestine com- 
munications. " Yes ! yes I " cried the chief clerk of our secretary, when 
I consulted him, '' I remember that grave imputation, but I remember 
also that it was proved that the mysterious nocturnal visitor was not 
Condorcet, but Count d'Orsay, master of the household of Monsieur? 
You see, gentlemen, in times of political animosity, how easily the repu- 
tation of the most honest man may be compromised. 

Hardly had he been nominated to the legislative assembly when he 
became one of its secretaries. Later he was raised to its presidency. 
Timidity, great feebleness of the lungs, the impossibility of preserving 
his sangfroid and presence of mind amidst the noise, agitation, and 
tumultuous movements of a large concourse kept him away from the 
tribune, which he mounted only on rare occasions, but whenever the 
assembly wished to make a serious and impressive address to the French 
people, the army, to interior factions, or foreign nations, it was always 
Condorcet who became its official organ. 

Dnring his legislative career Condorcet gave especial attention to the 
organization of public instruction. The fruity of his reflections upon 
this important subject are recorded in five memoirs, published in the 

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condorcet: a biography. 215 

Biblioihiqae de Vhomme publie^ and in the exposition of bis ideas on the 
law which he presented later to the legislative assembly. 

Condorcet entirely abandoned the beaten tracks. He has snbmitted 
to very carefal examination even those institutions and methods 
which by their nniversaiity seemed beyond question. He threw 
new light upon the subject by considering it from points of view well 
worthy the attention of the legislator, as an enlightened friend of 
his country, on account of their novelty and importance. Whatever 
may be the opinion of the matter, the impartial reader cannot fail to 
render homage to the clearness of view, the largeness of conception 
manifested by Condorcet in the various parts of his work. 

Here, according to date, should be mentioned a motion of Condorcet I 
cannot fail to notice. The compass of this motion I am sure has been seri- 
ously exaggerated. This assertion has not been made without mature 
reflection, for it places me in direct opposition to one of the most illustri- 
ous men of our time. It requires considerable confidence iu the power 
of truth to dare oppose alone an error, without doubt involuntary, but 
supported by the prestige of the highest eloquence. 

Parliamentary history ofifers nothing more touching, more curious, 
than the analysis of the session of the constituent assembly of the 19th 
of June, 1790. The day when Alexandre Lameth solicited the removal 
of four chained figures, then to be seen in the Place des Victoires at 
the feet of the statue of Louis XIV, an obscure deputy of Rouergue, 
M. Lambel, cried from his seat: "To-day is the tomb of vanity. I 
demand that henceforth it shall be forbidden any one to take the titles 
of duke, marquis, count, baron," &c. Charles Lameth supported the 
proposition of his colleague; he desired that in the future no one should 
be called noble. Lafayette considered the two demands so evidently 
necessary, that he thought it superfluous to support them by many 
remarks. Alex, de Noailles agreed with the latter, but considered the 
suppression of liveried servants equally urgent. M. do SaintFargeau 
proposed that no one should bear any other name than that of his 
family, and set the example by immediately signing his own motion, — 
"Michel Louis le Pelletier.'* Lastly, Matbeu de Montmorency insisted 
that armorial bearings, heraldry, which were among the most apparent 
remains of the feudal system, must not be spared, and demanded 
their immediate abolition. These propositions were presented, dis- 
cussed, adopted, almost in as short a time as I have taken to give an 
account of them. In all this our confrere did not take an active 
part, for the very simple reason that he was not a member of the 
constituent assembly. If it was a fault to rupture so suddenly all con- 
nection between the past and the present, Condorcet, at least, cannot 
be blamed for it. We have, in fact, since learned, through the memoirs 
of Lafayette, that upon the question of the abolition of heraldry, our 
learned philosopher did not agree with Montmorency. It seemed to 
himi on the contrary, more in accordance with the true priuciples of 

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216 condobcet: a biography. 

liberty, rather tban to sqppress armorial beariogs, to permit eTery one, 
the plebeian, the artisan, the beggar, as well as the noble, to assame 
them if so inclined. 

The law for the abolition of titles of nobility contained nothing spe- 
cific concerning the penalties attached to its infringement. Sach a law, 
a law without proper sanction, is never observed in any country, and 
soon falls into disuse. It was, no doubt, to recall to mind its existence, 
that on the anniversary of the day on which it was passed by the con- 
stituent assembly, the L9th of June, 1792, the legislative assembly at 
Paris caused to be burned a large quantity of brevets or diplomas of 
dukes, marquises, vidames, &c. The flame was still burning at the foot 
of the statue of Louis XIY ; the last contribution to it was, perhaps, 
the original title of the Marquis Caritat de Condorcet, when the heirs 
of this family demanded of the national tribune that the same measare 
should be extended to all France. The proposition was unanimously 

This proposition has been textually inserted in the Moniteur.^ It 
evidently relates only to titles of nobility. A decided partisan for unity 
in the legislative power, Condorcet hoped to defeat his adversaries 
(who still meditated the creation of two chambers,) by the destrac- 
tion of certain parchments which they seemed inclined to consult when 
composing the personnel of their senate. The artifice was perhaps 
shabby, puerile. Still it does not authorize an illustrious writer, the 
honor of our literature, to present it as the immediate c«)use of the 
abandonment of certain historical works, because these works had 
ceased entirely a year before, in 1791. It still less authorizes a serious 
journal, and of recent date, to tell us that the new Omar, Condorcet, 
caused to be burned the extensive records of the learned associations, 
for these records were not burned 5 the proposition can be read as 
Condorcet made it, and it refers absolutely only to titles of nobility; 
for (and this moral argument is in my eyes even stronger than pos- 
itive facts and dates) there never could have existed a French cham- 
ber, whether created by a monarch or by the populace, with elections of 
any order, which would have sanctioned by a unanimous vote the bar- 
barous, anti-literary, anti-historic, anti-national act, so lightly attril>- 
uted to the former secretary of the Academy. 

It is at about this epoch, and not after the condemnation of Louis 
XVI, as has erroneously been supposed, that, by the formal order of 
Catherine and Frederick William, the name of Condorcet was efifaced 
from the list of members composing the academies of St. Petersburg and 
of Berlin. Notwithstanding all my efiforts, I have not been able to dis- 
cover whether these two acts of disapproval distressed to any great de- 
gree our secretary. Not a line, not a single word of his numerous man- 
uscripts and printed works refers to this event. Condorcet imagined 
perhaps, that as the imperial and royal confirmations added little to the 
* See the discourse ol Coodoroet, of the 19tb of JuDe, 1792. 

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condorcet: a biography. 217 

actual value of the literary titles he could regard the withdrawal of 
these confirmatioDS as a fact little worth his attentiou. 

Goudorcet had seen arise iu the legislative assembly the personal dis- 
sensions which, growing in bitterness, threatened to imbrue the conven- 
tion in blood, and bring the conntry to the verge of ruin. lie was never 
willing to take part in these combats when they seemed to center upon 
individual names. All his tendencies were to moderate rather than 
to excite these broils. Several times he addressed to the ears of the 
factions these words, full of wisdom : "Think a little less of yourselves 
and a little more of the public good." 

In times of revolutionary agitations, he who is governed by principle 
alone is soon considered weak by all parties. Of this Condorcet was an 
example. Witness on the one hand this passage from Madame Uoland: 
"We may say of the intelligence of Condorcet in relation to Lis person, 
it is a fine essence pervading cotton." On the other hand, the electoral 
corps of Paris, then completely Jacobin, when called upon to nominate 
its representatives to the convention, withdrew from Condorcet the 
mandate which had made him a member of the legislative assembly. 

A little later in this same convention, for which five departments, in 
default of that of the Seine, had nominated Condorcet, we will see that 
it is possible to be both icotton for personal questions and bronze for 
questions of principle. 

Condorcet acted as one of the judges of Louis XVI I know that, by 
a sort of tacit consent, it is customary to consider this period of our 
history as ground too hot to dwell upoa with prudence. I think such 
reserve objectionable. The mystery in which the events of the time 
are enveloped tends to promote the belief that, to the eternal shame of 
our national character, not a patriotic feeling, not an act of courage, 
not an elevated idea, not a sentiment of justice, was brought to light 
during the long period of the painful drama. 

The large portion of the public to whom the Moniteur and other offi- 
cial sources of information are interdicted, on account of their high piice 
or their rarity, are acquainted with this part of our annals only through 
a few barbarous phrases, several of which have been repeated from 
generation to generation, but are none the less contrary to the truth. 
The overcaution, which under such circumstances would i^revent the 
historian from attributing to each person his real part of the responsi- 
bility, is, in my opinion, inexcusable. I will, therefore, tell you faith- 
lolly and without reticence what was Condorcet's conduct during the 
celebrated triiil. 

Could the King be tried I His inviolability : was it not absolute ac- 
cording to the terms of the constitution? Liberty: was it possible in 
a country where positive law ceased to be the rule 6f judgment I 
Would it not be violating an eternal axiom, founded upon humanity 
and upon reason, to prosecute actions which no anterior law had 
stamped as derelict or criminal f In strict justicCi should not the mod^ 

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of judgment bave been regalated before tbe time of tbe ofifense or 
crime f Was it to be hoped tbat a fallen sovereign might find impar- 
tial judges among those he once called his subjects! If Louis XVI had 
not counted upon absolute inviolability, are we sure that he would have 
accepted the crown t 

Behold the series of questions, assuredly very natural, which Condor- 
cet presented to the tribune of the convention, and which he submitted 
to a severe discussion before the commencement of the trial of Louis 
XVL I ought to enumerate them if only to show to what extent they 
may deceive themselves to whom the history of our revolution is known 
only by a sort of oral tradition, which represents all the members of 
the convention as tigers, thirsty for blood, taking no care to cover 
their fury with even the appearance of right and legality. Condorcet 
admitted that the King was inviolable, that the constitutional compact 
justified all the acts of power which were delegated to him. He did 
not believe that the same rule should be extended to personal derelic- 
tions, if they were without necessary connection with the functions of 
royalty. The most perfect codes, said Condorcet, contain defects. That 
of Solon, for example, makes no mention of the parricide. The monster 
guilty of such a crime, should he therefore remain unpunished t No, 
certainly; to him was applied the penalty of the murderer. 

In admitting condemnations by analogy, Condorcet desired at least 
that the tribunal, constituted with unusual prerogatives, should be based 
upon dispositions favorable to the accused ; he desired the right of re- 
cusation more extended ; the necessity of a larger majority for the con- 
demnation, &c. According to his views, the judgment of the King 
should have been confided to a special jury, chosen from the whole 
country by means of electoral colleges. 

The right to punish the King did not seem to our confrfere so incontest- 
able as the right to judge him. The idea of a sentence in some sort 
moral might seem, perhaps, strange; Condorcet saw in it the occasion 
of showing to Europe, by a legal discussion, that the change of the 
French constitution had not been the effect of the simple caprice of 
some individuals. 

After having developed the opinions, true, fklse, or questionable, that 
have just been presented to you, Condorcet declared, with no less sincer- 
ity, that, without violating the first principles of jurisprudence, the con- 
vention could not judge the King. A legislative judiciary was in his 
eyes a veritable chimera. Such an assembly, at once legislator, im- 
peacher, and judge, seemed to him a monstrosity, an example the most 
dangerous. In all times, he said^ and in all countries, the judge has 
been considered lawfully reprehensible who in advance manifests any 
opinion of the culpability or the innocence of the accused. In fact, 
justice cannot be expected from men who, forced to renounce an opin- 
ion publicly expressed, must consequently incur at the least the 
reproach of fickleness. Now, said Condorcet, in a solemn declaration 

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condorcet: a biography. 219 

addressed to the Swiss natioo, the coDvention has already pronoanced 
upon the culpability of the King. Condorcet as to the rest demanded 
that in the case of condem nation, the right should be reserved of mitigat- 
ing the punishment. '^To pardon the King,'' said he^ ^'may become 
an act of prudence ; to conserve the power to do so is an act of wisdom." 

It is iu the same discourse that I read the words, whose beauty are 
enhanced by the solemn circumstances of the speaker: 

"1 believe the punishment by death unjust. • • • The abolition 
of the death penalty would be one of the most efficacious means of ele- 
vating the human species by assisting to destroy the inclination to- 
wards ferocity, which has long dishonored it. • • • Punishments 
which allow correction and repentance, are alone suitable for the regen- 
eration of the race.*" 

Th6 convention, scorning all the scruples Condorcet had raised, con- 
stituted itself a sovereign tribunal for the trial of Louis XVI. Our 
brother did not decline to take part. Was this one of those cases in 
the body politic, when the minority must blindly submit to the yoke 
of the majority? The most criminal of usurpations is, without con- 
tradiction, that of the judicial power; it wounds both the intelligence 
and the heart. On such a subject, could the testimony of the con- 
science be placed in the balance against the material result of the 
ballot f Let us not always carry severity to the extreme ; let us remem- 
ber that in the open sea, in the midst of the storm, even the most in- 
trepid sailor is sometimes seized with dizziness the timid landsman safe 
on shore has never experienced. It would certainly have been more 
Eoman to have refused the function of judge; it was more human, accord-* 
ing to the ideas of Condorcet, to accept it. Condorcet refused to vote 
for the punishment of death. Any other penalty he considered could be 
awarded, and he demanded an appeal to the i)eople. 

Discussion op the constitution of the second year.— Condor- 
cet AN OUTLAW— His retreat with Madame Vernet— His sketch 


Condorcet— His death. 

Of all the writings of Condorcet none exercised so fatal an influence 
upon his destiny as the plan for the constitution for the second year. 

In the midst of the incomparable efforts made by the convention to 
repulse the armed enemy, to suppress the civil war, to create financial 
resources, to resupply the arsenals, the political organization of the 
country was not forgotten ; a commission composed of nine of its mem- 
bers was intrusted with the preparation of a new constitution. Con- 
dorcet was one of the nine. Alter several months of assiduous labor 
and of profound discussion, this commission presented, on the 15th and 
16th of February, 1793, the result of its deliberation. The new plan 
of the constitution consisted of not less than thirteen heads, sub- 

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220 condorcet: a biography. 

divided into a graat naraber of articles. An introdaction of a hundred 
and fifteen pages, written by Oondorcet, gave in detail the motives 
which had decided the commission. The convention accorded to the 
draught of onr colleague the preference over all the others presented for 
its consideration from other quarters, and concluded that it would with- 
out delay be publicly discussed. Violent debates excited each day by 
personal enmity, the bitterness of party spirit 5 the wearisome difficulties 
of the (circumstances, and the incessant usurpations of the commune of 
Paris absorbed all the time of the sessions. Condorcet, caring only for 
what he considered as directly promoting the triumph, the glory, and the 
happiness of France, grieved to see the consideration of the constitu* 
tion day by day deferred. In his impatience he demanded a limit 
fixed for the delay, at the expiration of which a new*convention should 
be called. At Paris the proposed constitution received very little 
attention; the departments, on the contrary, received it with favor. 
It carried and promoted ideas which had become so powerful that it 
was impolitic not to take them into account. Accordingly after the 
events of the 3Ist of May and the 2d of June, the part of the conven- 
tion in the ascendency considered it opportune to gratify without 
delay the wish of the people ibr the constitution so long promised the 
country 5 but it refused to take up again the plan of Condorcet. Five 
commissioners, appointed by the committee of the public safety, at 
the head of which was U^rault de S^chelles, made a new plan which 
the committee amended and accepted in a single session. The conven- 
tion was not U*S8 expeditious. The constitution presented on the 10th 
of June, 1703, was decreed on the 24th of the same month. The happy 
shouts of the populace and the thunder of cannon announced in Paris 
the great event. 

The constitution, according to the terms of the decree, was to be sanc- 
tioned or rejected by the primary assemblies in the short space of three 
days from the time of notification, and here occurred an act of Condorcet 
in order to appreciate the bravery of which it is necessary to go back 
in thought to that terrible period in our annals which followed the 31st 
of May. 

Sie^ 5s, in private confidence, called the work of H<Srault de S^chelles 
a bad index of subjects. What Sieyfes said in secret Condorcet dared to 
write to his constituents. He did more : in a letter made public, the 
celebrated savant openly proposed to the people not to sanction the new 
constitution. His reasons were many aucji clearly expressed : 

"The integrity of the national representation,'' said Condorcet, "has 
just been destroyed by the arrest of twenty-seven Girondin members. 
The discussion could no longer be fiee. Inquisitorial censure, the i>illage 
of printing offices, the violation of the secrets of letters, must be consid- 
ered as having presented insurmountable obstacles to the manifestation 
of the popular sentiment. The new constitution," added Condorcet, " as 
it speaks of no compensation for the deputies, leads to the supposition 

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condorcet: a bioorapht. 221 

that it is considered desirable to compose the national convention always 
of rich men or of those with good prospects for the fntare. The elections, 
too indirect, are a premium for intrigues and mediocrity. It is an insult 
to the people to suppose them incapable of making good immediate eleo' 
tions. To compose the executive power of twenty-four persons is to 
throw affairs into hopeless stagnation. A constitution which does not 
guarantee civil liberty is radically defective. There is in some minds a 
tendency toward federalism, toward the rupture of French unity, but the 
greatest mistake is to have rendered the means of reform illusory." 

A critic so quick, so accurate, so just, moreover, could not have been 
welcome to the authors of the project, but what followed irritated them 
still more, for self-love is always the weak side of our species, even with 
those who call themselves statesmen. 

^^AU that is good in the second project of a constitution is copied 
from the first, — which has only been perverted and corrupted by the 
attempt to correct and improve.'' Chabot denounced the letter of Con- 
dorcet to the convention in the session of the Sth of July, 1793. The 
ex- Capuchin called the new constitution of Herault de S^chelles a suh 
lime work. He spoke of the criticism as an infamoiis article which only 
villains could tolerate, and after the use of these abusive terms, adds: 
''Condorcet pretends that his constitution is better; that the primary 
assemblies ought to accept it. I propose, therefore, that he be placed 
under arrest, and compelled to plead his cause at the bar." 

The assembly accordingly decreed without further accusation that 
the illustrious deputy from Aisne should be arrested and the state seal 
placed upon his papers. ' 

Condorcet, although generally, but erroneously, considered a Girondist, 
was not among the number of the twenty-four deputies arrested on the 
3lst of May. On the 3d of October, 1703, however, his name is found 
with those of Drissot, Vergniaud, Geosonn^, Valaz6, in the list of the 
conventionals brought before the revolutionary tribunal, accused of 
conspiracy against the unity of the republic and condemned to death. 

Condorcet, condemned as contumacious, was outlawed; was placed 
upon the list of exiles and all his possessions were confiscated. 

'' Honor took refuge in the camp." In this short sentence historians 
pretend to give an idea of the terrible years 1793 and 1794 of our 
revolution. But the great epochs of history can be described in so few 
words, only at the expense of truth. It is true the armies of the repub- 
lic manifested a devotion, a patience, and a courage really admirable; 
it is true the soldiers, badly armed, badly clothed, barefooted, strangers 
to the most simple military evolutions, hardly knowing how to use their 
guns, overcame by force of patriotism the best troops of Euroi)e, and 
drove them disorganized beyond the frontiers; yes, from the bosom of 
the people, whose intelligence had been dwarfed by the aristocratic 
pride and prejudices of our ancestors, sprang as if by enchantment im- 
mortal leaders ; yes, when the welfare or honor of the country required 

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222 condoecet: a biography. 

it, the son of an humble goat-herd became the illastrioas head of one of 
our armies, the conqueror of Marshal Wnrmser and the peace-maker of 
the Vend6e ; yes, the son of a simple tavern-keeper precipitated himself, 
like an avalanche from the heights of the Albis, and dispersed from 
under the walls of Zurich the Bassian forces of Korsakoff, even at the 
moment when they considered themselves marching surely to the con- 
quest of France ; yes, the son of a plasterer with a few thousand men 
gave at Heliopolis such proofs of skill and of bravery that the phalanx 
of Macedonia and the legions of GaBsar can no longer be called the most 
valiant troops which have trodden the land of fgypt. 

I deplore, I denounce, as vehemently as any one, the sanguinary acts 
which stained the years 1793 and 1794, but I cannot regard our glorious 
revolution only under this sad aspect. I find, on the contrary, much to 
admire, even amid the cruel scenes which marked the various stages of 
its progress. Can we cite, for instance, any country, ancient or modem, 
in which the victims of both sexes and all parties have given greater 
proof at the foot of the scaflFold of resignation, of force of character, of 
ready sacrifice of life, than was manifested by our unfortunate compa- 
triots f Kor should be forgotten the intrepid assiduity manifested by 
many honorable citizens in assisting and sheltering the proscribed. 

This last reflection brings us back to Gondorcet and the admirable 
woman who concealed him for more than nine months. It may be sup- 
posed that Gondorcet did not fully measure all the gravity, all the import- 
ance, of the article which he published after the adoption of the constitu- 
tion of the second year. This mistake, however, must be corrected. That 
which presented itself to the mind of the deputy of Aisne as a duty, 
he accomplished with full knowledge of the imminent danger incurred. 
As indisputable proof of this, I find that the publication of the Address 
to the citizens of France vpon the nevo constitution coincides exactly with 
the steps taken to secure a place of refuge for the author. 

In the political as in the terrestrial atmosphere, there are signs that 
herald storms, recognized at a glance by the experienced, however indefi- 
nite they may appear to others. Gondorcet, his brother in-law Gabanis, 
their common friend Vic-d'Azir, could not be deceived. After his pub- 
lic manifestation upon the subject of the constitution of the year II 
(of the Republic), the impeachment of Gondorcet was inevitable ; the 
thunderbolt was launched at his head, and it was necessary for him to 
seek shelter without delay. 

Two pupils of Gabanis and of Vic-d^Azir, who have since become dis- 
tinguished members of this Academy, MM. Pinel and Boyer, suggested 
that he should resort for this purpose to No. 21 Servandohi street, 
where they had resided. This house, ordinarily occupied by students, 
belonged to the widow of Louis Frun5oi8 Vemet, a sculptor and near rela- 
tive of the great painters of that name. Madam Vernet, as well as her 
husband, was born in Provence. She had a warm heart, a lively 
imagination^ a character open and frank ; her benevolence amounted 

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to self-sacrifice. These qnalities obviated the necessity of circamlo- 
cation and long negotiation. '^ Madam," said MM. Bojer and Pinel, 
'' we wish to save a proscript." '* Is be an honest man ; is be virtaous f " 
"Yes, madam." "In that case, let him come I" "We will tell you his 
name." "You can tell me that later; lose not a moment; while we 
speak together, your friend may be arrested." 

That same evening Condorcet intmsted bis life to a woman whose 
existence even a few hours before was unknown to biro. 

Condorcet was not the first fugitive received at No. 21; one other had 
preceded him there. Madam Yernet never consented, in regard to this un- 
known, to satisfy the natural curiosity of the family of our confrere. Even 
in 1830, after nearly thirty-seven years had elapsed, her answers to the 
pressing questions of Madam O^Counor never passed beyond vague 
generalities. The refugee, she said, was a great enemy of the revolution ; 
be lacked firmness, was frightened by the least noise in the street, and 
did not quit his retreat until after the 9th Thermidor. The excellent 
woman added, with a smile and some sadrf^ss, " Since that time I have 
not seen him ; how do you suppose I can recollect bis name." 

Our confrere had hardly entered his retreat in Servandoni street^ 
when he became a prey to the most cruel mental torture. His income 
was seized ; he could not dispose of a straw belonging to him. For 
himself, personally, he did not suffer on this account, for Madam Yer- 
net provided for his necessities ; with this incomparable woman to as- 
sist an unfortunate was so much a matter of duty, that afterward, when 
the family of the illustrious secretary became opulent, they endeavored 
in vain, with repeated and constantly -renewed efforts, to induce her to 
receive some remuneration. 

But, safe biqpself, "Where," thought the illustrious academician, "will 
she live who is so unfortunate as to bear my name to-day, when every 
noble woman, and much more every wife of a prescript, is excluded from 
the capital f " " Trust to the resources of a devoted wife." !Madam Con- 
dorcet managed to come into Paris every morning with the purveyors 
of the markets. " But how will she support herself f" still demanded our 
confrere in his uneasy solicitude. It seemed, in fact, impossible that a 
lady delicately reared, accustomed to be served and not to serve others, 
could gain by her own exertions sufficient maintenance for herself, her 
young daughter, her sick sister, and an old housekeeper. But the ap- 
parently impossible was soon in fact accomplished. The need of some 
representation of the lineaments of relations and friends is never greater 
than during a revolution. Madam de Condorcet passed her days in 
making portraits now in the prisons, and these were the most in demand; 
now in the silent retreats the charitable secured for the proscribed; in 
the brilliant drawing-rooms, or in the modest habitations of citizens of all 
classes who considered themselves threatened by approaching danger. 
The skill of Madam Condorcet also rendered much less vexations, much 
less i>erilous, the frequent raidi of detachments of the revolutionary 

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army upon her dwelling-place of Aateail. Upon the demand of the sol- 
diers she reprodnced their features with the pencil or the brush. She 
exercised over them the fascination of her talents, and almost converted 
them into protectors. As soon as painting ceased to be remanerative, 
Madam Condorcet, exempt from prejadices, did not hesitate to open a 
store for lingerie. Later she became the skilful translator of the work 
of Adam Smith upon the moral sentiments, and published, herself, B6me 
letters upon sympathy equally worthy of esteem on account of their 
delicacy of perception and their elegance of style. 

The first steps, the*flrst successes, of Madam Condorcet in the career 
of personal abnegation and courageous devotion we have just described 
were a balm to the almost fainting heart of the unhappy prescript. He 
felt himself inspired for persevering and laborious work. The force, 
the clearness of his mind were not less perfect in the retreat guarded by 
the heroic humanity of Madame Vernet than they were twenty years 
before, when he was secretarv of the Academy of Sciences. 

The first work written by tlondorcet in his seclusion has never been 
printed. I will quote the opening lines: 

"As 1 cannot know whether I shall survive the present crisis,^ writes 
the illustrious philosopher, " I consider it a duty to my wife, my child, 
and my friends, who may suffer from the calumnies attached to my 
memory, to give a simple exposition of my principles and my conduct 
during the revolution.'' 

Cabanis and Garat were mistaken when they afiirmed in the introduc- 
tion to the Sketch of the progress of the human mind that their friend wrote 
only a few lines of this exposition. The manuscript consists of forty- 
one closely-written pages, and embraces nearly the whole of the public 
career of Condorcet. As secretary of the Academy of Moral and Polit- 
ical Sciences, I should perhaps transcribe the whole of this writing, in 
which the candor, the good faith, and the sincerity of our confrere are so 
brilliantly manifested ; but the specialties of the Academy of Sciences 
exclude such details. Nevertheless, as it is the manifest duty not only for 
all academicians but all citizens to free our national history, our common 
patrimony, from the miserable stains the action of a limited party have 
impressed upon her, I will give the opinion of Condorcet in regard to 
the massacres of September : 

" The massacres of the 2d of September," he writes, " a stain upon oor 
revolution, were the work of the folly, the ferocity, of a few men, and 
not of the people, who endeavored not to see what they were unable to 
prevent. The factions party, few in number, to whom these deplorable 
events ought to be attributed, were artful enough to paralyze the public 
power, to deceive the citizens and the national assembly. They were 
resisted feebly and without system, because the true condition of affairs 
was not understood." 

Is it not a pleasure, gentlemen, to find the people, the true people of 
Paris, exonerated from all responsibility in the odious butchery, by a 

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condorcet: a biography, 225 

man whose enlightened understanding, patriotism, and high position are 
a triple guarantee of truthfulness! In future the following apostrophe of 
a workman to the commune will not stand alone as an isolated expression 
of individual opinion : 

** You pretend to be destroying the enemies of the country. I do not 
call unarmed men such. Lead to the Champ de Mars these unfortun- 
ates who, as you say, would rejoice in the failure of the republic. Let 
us meet them equal in numbers, equal in arms, and there will then be 
nothing in their death to cause us to blush." 

Condorcet bore his seclusion with great resignation until he heard of 
the tragical death of the Girondist conventionalists, who had been con- 
demned on the same day as himself. This terrible circumstance concen- 
trated all his thoughts upon the danger incurred by Madame Vernet. 
Ho had an interview with his brave protectress, which, although it 
seems like sacrilege, I give without changing a single word : 

"Your kindnesses, madam, are engraved upon my heart with inefface- 
able lines. The more I admire your courage, the more I feel it my duty 
as an honest man not to impose further upon it. The law is positive : 
if I am discovered in your dwelling, you will have the same sad end as 
myself. I am an outlaw^ I cannot remain longer." "The convention, 
monsieur, has the right to put you beyond the amenities of the law, but 
has not the power to place you beyond those of humanity ; you will re- 

This admirable answer was immediately followed by the organization 
in No. 21 Servandoni street of a system of surveillance to prevent the 
departure of the illustrious refugee, in which most of the members of 
the household, and particularly the humble porter, had a part. Mad- 
am Yernet inspired with her own virtue all those who surrounded her. 
From this day Condorcet did not make a movement which was not ob- 

At this time occurred an incident which shows the superior intelli- 
gence of Madam Yernet, and her profound knowledge of the human 

One day as he was mounting the staircase leading to the chamber he 
occupied, Condorcet encountered the citizen Marcos, deputy solicitor to 
the convention for the department of Mont Blunc. Marcos belonged to 
the section of the mountaineers; he had been lodging for several days 
with Mivdam Yernet. Under his disguise, Condorcet had not been rec- 
ognized ; but was it possible to count upon this good fortune for any 
length of time t The illustrious prescript confided his uneasiness to his 
devoted hostess. " Wait," said she, " 1 will arrange this matter immedi- 
ately." She ascended to the chamber of Marcos, and, without any pre- 
amble, addressed these words to him : "Citizen, Condorcet dweUa under 
the same roof with yourself; if he is arrested it will be you who has 
denounced him ; if he perishes it will be yon who has caused his head 
to fall. .You are a benevolent man ; I have no need to say more." This 

S. Mis. 69 ^15 Digitized by ^OOglC 

226 condoecet: a biography. 

noble confidence was not betrayed. Marcos entered, even at the peril of 
bis IIM, into direct relations with Condorcet. It was he who provided 
him with the romances which oar confifere devoured in large numbers. 
Madam Veroet felt that through the restlessness of the prisoner, an 
accident might at any time betray him ; that her efforts would in the 
end prove to be in vain if his mind were not more seriously occupied. 
At her instigation, Madam de Condorcet, and the friends of her hus- 
band, entreated him to devote his time to some important composition. 
Condorcet yielded to their counsel, and commenced his Sletch of a his- 
torio picture of the progress of the human mind. 

While thus, through the judicious influence of Madam Yemet, Con- 
dorcet turned his scrutinizing gaze on the social condition of the past and 
future human race, he succeeded in diverting his thoughts completely 
from the terrible convulsions in which France was then struggling. In 
the Sketch of the progress of the human mind there is not a line in which 
the acrimony of the prescript has taken the place of the cool reason of 
the philosopher and the noble desire to promote the advance of civiliza- 
tion. << Everything tells us that we are on the eve of one of the great 
revolutions of the human race. * • • The present indications are 
that it will be a happy one." Thus Condorcet wrote when he was hope- 
less of escape from the active pursuit of his implacable persecutors; 
when the sword of death waited to fall only until the identity of the 
victim could be assured. 

It was in the middle of March, 1704, that Condorcet wrote the last 
lines of his essay } to carry the work further without the aid of books 
was not in the power of any human mind. The work did not see the day 
until 1795, after the death of the author. The public received it with 
universal approbation. Two translations — one English, one German — 
made the Sketch very popular abroad. The convention obtained three 
thousand copies, which were distributed through the efforts of the com- 
mittee of public instruction over the entire republic In the autograph 
manuscript the work is called not a sketch but a Programme of a historical 
picture of the progress of the human mind. Condorcet indicates its object 
in the following terms : 

<< I intend to confine myself to the general traits which characterize 
the various phases through which the human lace must pass, which 
sometimes manifest its progress, sometimes its decadence,Vhich betray 
causes and show their effects. * * * It is not the science of 
man in general that I undertake to treat ; I wish to show solely how, 
through time and his own efforts, he has been able to enrich his miud 
with new truths, to perfect his intelligence, to extend the use of his 
faculties, and to employ them to better advantage for his own happiness 
and the common good." 

The work of Condorcet is too well known to require analysis here. 
How, moreover, can a programme be analyzed t I will merely draw the 

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attention of nnprejadiced minds to the cnrions chapter where, dwelling 
upon the futnre progress of the human mind, the author shows the 
necessity, the justice (these are his expressions) of establishing an 
entire equality of civil and political rights between the individuals of 
the two sexes, and proclaims, besides, the indefinite perfectibility of the 
human race. 

The latter philosophical idea was opposed with extreme violence in the 
beginning of this century by all the popular writers. According to 
them the doctrine of indefinite perfectibility is not only untrue, but 
productive of disastrous consequences. The Journal des Debats pre- 
sented it ^'as favoring too much the projects of the seditious.'' In the 
severe criticism made of it in the Mercure, in reference to a work of 
Madam de Stael, Fontaues flattering the passions of Napoleon, even 
maintained this dream of perfectibility to be a terrible menace to gov- 
ernments. Finally, to weaken (according to the ideas of the day) the 
rights of this philosophical doctrine to any serious consideration, it 
was pretended that Yoltaire was its first, its true originator. This as- 
sertion, however, could not well be sustained. The idea of perfectibility 
is in fact found in Bacon, in Pascal, in Descartes. Nowhere, however, 
is it more clearly expressed than in this passage from Bossuet : *^ After 
six thousand years of observation the human mind is not yet exhausted ; 
it investigates, it discovers still, and may do so to infinity ; idleness 
alone can limit its knowledge and its inventions." 

The merit of Oondorcet in regard to this particular subject is confined 
to having studied by means of data furnished through modern science, 
and by ingenious association of the facts obtained, the hypothesis of an 
indefinite perfectibility relative to the duration of the life of man, and 
his intellectual faculties. But he was, I believe, the first to extend the 
system so as to induce the hope of the indefinite perfection of the moral 
faculties. Thus I read in his work '^ that a day will come when our 
interests and our passions will have no more influence upon the judg- 
ments which control the will than they have now upon scientific opin- 
ions.'' Here, without entirely differing from the author, I would say he 
makes a prediction it will require a long time to fulfil. 

The programme was originally intended to have been followed by a 
Tableau complet (a complete picture) of the progress of the human mind. 
This picture, composed principally of facts, of historical documents, and 
of dates, was not finished. The editors of 1804 published some frag- 
ments of it; o^her portions are found in the papers of M. and Mme. 
O^Coonor. Let us hope that filial piety will favor the public with the 
rest. I dare to hope that it will establish the judgment given by Dan- 
non of the sketch: "I do not know any one, however erudite, either 
of this or any other nation, who deprived as Condorcet was of books,, 
and with no other guide than his memory, could have composed such a 

As soon as the fever of authorship of our confi^re was abated, his fear* 

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of the danger incurred by Madam Vernet by his presence in Servan- 
doni street were renewed. lie then, to use his own words, resolved to 
quit a retreat which the unlimited devotion of his tutelary saint bad 
transformed into a paradise. 

Condorcet was so well assured of the probable consequence of the 
step he was about to take, the chances of safety appeared to him so 
slight, that before leaving the protection of Madam Vernet he recorded 
his last wishes. This document, which I have in my hands, manifests 
throughout an elevated mind, a feeling heart, and a beautiful soul. I 
dare even to say that in no language can there be found anything more 
thoughtful, more touching, more graceful in form than some passages 
in this testament, the last effort of our confrere, which he called The ad- 
vice of a proacript to "his daughter. I regret that time does not permit 
me to make some quotations from it. These lines, so clear, so fall of 
delicate and natural feeling, were written by Condorcet on the very day 
when he was about to expose himself to great danger. The feeling that 
a violent death was almost inevitable did not disturb him; his hand 
traced these terrible expressions, my deaths my approaching deaths with 
a firmness the stoics of antiquity might have envied. Sensibility, on 
the contrary, overcame his strength of mind when the illustrious pro- 
script considered that Madam de Condorcet might be included in the 
violent death which threatened him. When obliged to mention this 
terrible contingency, he no longer speaks directly to the point, but en- 
deavors, if we may so say, to veil from his own eyes the horrors of the 
situation by ambiguous expressions — ''If my daughter is destined to 
lose both parents.'' This is the most explicit reference he makes to the 
subject in- all the writing; and then, as if even this was too much for 
him, he immediately reverts to the support of his child, then only five 
years old. He hopes that his dear Eliza will remain with his benefac- 
tress. He foresees and provides for everything. Eliza will call Madame 
Vernet her second mother ; she will learn, under the direction of this 
excellent friend, besides the usual occupations of woman, how to design, 
paint, and engrave sufficiently well to gain a living. In case of neces- 
sity, she might apply for assistance in England to Lord Stanhope, and 
Lord Dean J in America, to Bache, grandson of Franklin, and to Jefferson. 
She should therefore be taught the English language; this, moreover, 
was the wish of her mother, which was, in itself, enough. At the proper 
time. Madam Vernet will cause to be read to Mademoiselle Condorcet 
the instructions of her parents from the original manuscript (this cir- 
cumstance is especially indicated). Eliza must be kept free from any 
desire for revenge, must be taught to overcome what would naturally 
be, under the circumstances, her filial tendencies in this respect. This 
was a sacrifice demanded of her in the name of her father. The will 
terminates with these lines : " I say nothing of my feelings toward the 
generous friend (Madam Vernet) for whom this document is intended; 

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condorcet: a biography. 229 

let ber pat herself in my place, then question her own heart, and she 
will know them all." 

Thus Condorcet wrote, on the morning of the 5th of April, 1794. At 
ten o'clock he left his room in his nsaal disguise, a vest and large cap, of 
wool, and descended to a small apartment on the ground floor, hoping to 
elude the surveillance of which he was the object, and make his escape ; 
but finding Madam Yernet there, he entered into conversation with 
nnother inmate of the house* who was present, interlarding his discourse 
with Latin phrases and making it in every way as tedious and uninteres^ 
ing as iK>8sible, in order to drive her from the room, but in vain. The 
proscript was in despair, when, by chance or by calculation, he manifested 
annoyance at having forgotten his snuff-box. Madam Yernet, always 
kind, hastened to mount the stairs in order to look for it. Condorcet 
seized this moment to rush into the street. The distressed cries of the 
portress immediately informed Madame Yernet what had happened, aud 
that she had lost the fruit of nine months' unexampled devotion ; the 
poor woman fell back fainting. To avoid a pursuit, which would have 
ruined his benefactress, Condorcet passed rapidly through Servandoni 
street. Stopping to take breath, as he turned into the street Yaugirard, 
be saw at his side M. Sarret, the cousin of Madame Yernet. The pro- 
script had hardly time to utter some words of farewell, in which admira- 
tion was mingled with affectionate gratitude, when M. Sarret said to 
him, with a firmness that admitted of no resistance, " The costume you 
wear does not disguise you sufficiently ; you do not know your road ; 
alone you will never succeed in escaping the active surveillance of the 
argus-eyed sentinels the commune has placed at all the gates of Paris. 
I have therefore determined not to leave you." 

It was at ten o^clock in the morning, in broad sunlight, in a frequented 
street, at the door even of the terrible prisons of Luxembourg and of 
Carmes, out of which none ever came, except to go to the scaffold ; it was 
in full view of lugubrious notices, declaring in large characters that the 
punishment of death would be inflicted upon any one who rendered assist- 
ance to the prescripts that M. Sarret attached himself to our proscript. 
Was not this intrepidity equal at least to that of a body of soldiers who 
throw themselves upon the thundering artillery of a redoubtf The two 
fugitives escaped by a sort of miracle the dangers which attended them at 
the barrier of Maine, and then directed their steps toward Fontenay-aux- 
Boses. The journey was long, after nine months of absolute inactivity 
had unfitted our confrere for walking. At last, about three o'clock in 
the afternoon, Condorcet and his companion arrived without mishap, 
but extremely fatigued, at the door of a country house, occupied by a 
happy family, who for nearly twenty years had received from Condorcet 

distinguished services and marks of favor without number. There ended 


*Tbi8 man was named Sarret; was an author of several works. He bad married 
Madame Yernet, bnt the marriage was kept secret, as the lady did not wish to give 
np her maiden name. 

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the dangeroQS mission Sarret had nndertaken ; he left Coodorcet and 
returned to Paris. 

What happened then, acconnts do not agree. As far as I can learn, 
Condorcet solicited hospitality only for a single night. Certain difficnl- 
ties, of which I will notmakemyself the judge, prevented his friends from 
granting his request; iievertheless they arranged that a small garden 
door opening outward toward the country should not bo closed at night, 
and that Condorcet might present himself there at ten o'clock. When 
taking leave of the unfortnuate proscript, they presented him with the 
Epistles of Horace, a poor resource in truth for one* obliged to seek a 
refuge in the dreary darkness of the qnarries of Clamast. These old 
friends of Condorcet undoubtedly committed the irreparable fault of 
delegating to others, and not seeing themselves that the arrangement 
made was carried out. For one or two days afterward Madam Yeruet 
who passed over the country of Fontenay-aux-Poses in every direction, 
in the hope that her presence there might be useful to the fugitive, 
remarked a mound of earth and tuft of grass in front of the little gate, 
proving, alas, only too well, that for a long time it had not turned on 
its hinges ; during two dreary nights no door had been open for him, 
except in Servandoni street There at No. 21 during a whole week front 
door, shop door, or alley -door would have yielded to the slightest pres- 
sure of the fugitive's finger. In the possibility, 1 can hardly say the 
hopiB of a nocturnal return, Madam Yernet did not think of the thieves 
and assassins who at that time especially haunted Paris. Great, alas, 
was the difference in conduct of the two families, with whom ties 
formed in prosperity by favors conferred and ties of misfortune had 
connected Condorcet. 

On the 6th of April, at two o'clock, we see Condorcet leaving with 
resignation, but not without sadness, the country house where he had 
hoped to pass twenty-four hours in security. No one will ever know the 
anguish, the sufferings he endured throughout the 6th. On the 7th 
we see him, wounded in limb and impelled by hunger, enter an eating- 
house of Clamart, and ask for an omelette. Unfortunately this man, 
of almost universal information, did not know even approximately how 
many eggs a workman eats at a repast. When asked by the shopman 
how many he desired, he answered a dozen. This unusual number excited 
surprise, soon suspicion, which spread quickly. The stranger was re- 
quested to exhibit his passport ; he had none. Pressed by questions, he 
called himself a carpenter, but the state of his hands contradicted the 
assertion. The municipal authorities were informed, had him arrested, 
and sent him to Bourg-la-Keiue. On the route a kind vine-dresser meit- 
iug the prisoner, seeing his wounded limb and his limping walk, gen- 
erously lent him his horse. I ought not to pass over this last mark of 
63'mpathy received by our unfortunate confrere. 

On the 8th of April (1794), in the morning, when the jailer of Bourg la 
Keine opened the door of the dungeon in which the unkncmn^^OBi.r 

condorcet: a biography, 231 

bad been confined, in order that the gendarmes might condact him to 
Paris, he foand only a corpse. Our confrere had escaped the scaffold 
by a dose of concentrated poison he had for sometime carried in a ring.* 

Bocbard de Saron, Lavoisier, La Bochefoacanld, Malesherbes, Bailly. 
Condorcet — such were the losses sustaiued by the Academy during 
oar sanguinary struggles. The memories of these illustrious men 
have fared very differently ; some have rested in peace in the universal 
and well-deserved regret ; others have periodically been subjected to 
the storm of political abuse. 

If my powers obey my will, I hope soon in this place to speak to you 
of Bailly. To-day I shall not feel that I have accomplished my sacred 
task, even after all tbat has been said, if I do not free the memory of 
Condorcet from a calumnious imputation. The form of this accusation 
against our brother does not lessen my inquietude ; it imputes to him 
only weakness, but weakness under some circumstances is a crime. 

In giving an account of the deplorable condemnation of Lavoisier, a 
pen very wise, very respectable, and very respected, wrote some years 
ago : "Much hope was felt for Lavoisier on account of certain circum- 
stances some of his confreres could adduce in his favor; but terror 
froze their hearts." With this as foundation, a certain public, cruelly 
trifling, numbered upon their fingers the academicians who had seats 
in the convention, and so, without further examination, thcname of our 
former secretary is found fatally implicated in the stupidly ferocious 
act which deprived France of an excellent citizen, the world of a man 
of genius. Two dates, two simple dates, will show that when no names 
are mentioned in connection with so grave an event, when only general 
terms are used and no one is especially accused, it is not wise, to say the 
least, to implicate everybody. 

Condorcet, it has been said, might have interfered in favor of Lav- 
oisier. Whent — at the time of the arrest t Then this is my answer: 
Lavoisier was arrested in the month of April, 1794. Condorcet was 
proscribed and hidden with Madam Vernet from the commencement 
of July, 1793. After the sentence of the revolutionary tribunal t The 
response is still more decisive : Lavoisier died on the 8th of May, 1794. 
Condorcet poisoned himself at Bourg la Bcine a month before, on the Sth 
of April. I need not add a word to these figures; they will remain im- 
printed by ineffaceable lines upon the foreheads of the calumniators of 
oar noble confr&re. 


I have successively presented to your eyes, and in what has appeared 
to me the true light, the savant, the literateur, the political economist, and 
the member of two of oar national assemblies. It remains for me to 

* This poison (we do not know its nature), was prepared by Cabanis. That with 
which Napoleon attempted to poison himself at Fcntainebleau was of the same origin 
and the same date. Digitized by ^OOg IC 


give the portrait of the man of society, to speak of his exterior appear- 
aDce and of his manners. At one time I was in despair of fulfilling 
this part of my task, for I had not known personally the secretary of 
the Academy. I had never even seen him. I knew too well, besides^ 
that books are very unfaithful guides to a knowledge of their writers; 
that authors can assume sometimes in their works a character totally at 
variance with their habitual actions. The maxim of Buffon had often been 
contradicted by fact: '^A man's style is the roan himself.'' Happllyi 
unpublished correspondence has in a manner transferred me into the 
family of Condorcet; has shown him to me surrounded by his relations, 
his friends, his confr&res, his subordinates, and his clients; has made 
me the witness, the confidant, I had almost said, of all his actions. So 
I feel reassured. Need I fear to speak with boldness of the most secret 
thoughts of the illustrious academician, of his private life, of his most 
sacred feelings, when I have for guides and references Turgot, Voltaire, 
d'Alembert, Lagrange, and a woman (Mademoiselle de L'Espinasse) 
celebrated by the extent, the penetration, and the delicacy of her mind? 

Gondorcet was of large stature ; the immense size of his head, his large 
shoulders, his robust body, contrasted with limbs which had always 
remained slight on account, our brother thought, of the inactivity which 
his costume of a girl, and the too great solicitude of his mother, im> 
posed upon him during the first eight years of his life. 

Condoreet always retained, with great simplicity, something approach- 
ing to awkwardness. To see him only in passing, it would have been said. 
That is a good man, rather than. That is a wise man. His principal trait, 
his truly characteristic quality, was an extreme kindness, which was in 
accordance with the gentle expression of a beautiful face. 

Gondorcet was considered by his mere acquaintances as cold and in- 
sensible. This was a great mistake. Be never, perhaps, addressed afiVc- 
tionate expressions to his relatives and friends; but he never lost an 
opportunity of giving active proof of his attachment. He was afllicted 
with their afflictions ; he suffered from their misfortunes to such a degree 
that his sleep was often disturbed and his health affected. 

How does it happen, then, that our confrere has been so frequently 
accused of insensibility f Because the emotions of his noble soul were 
not manifested readily in his countenance. He would listen with an 
air of the utmost indifference to the story of an unfortunate ; but while 
others were content to manifest their sympathy in vain words, he, with- 
out saying anything, would bring succor and consolation of all kinds 
to relieve the sufferings which had been revealed to him. You know now 
the true meaning of the words of d'Alembert, ** Gondorcet is a volcano 
covered with snow." It is a great mistake to suppose the immortal 
geometer, by his picturesque simile, meant tp indicate violence of char- 
acter, disguised by coldness. 

D'Alembert had seen the volcano in full action in the year 1771. The 
geometer, the metaphysician, the political economist, the philosopher, 

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Condorcet, entirely overwhelmed by an affair of the heart, had then be- 
come for all his acqaaintances an object of pity. He even thought of 
committing suicide. The manner in which he rejected the palliative lor 
his grief, recommended by his friend and confidant. Target, is interest- 
ing: ^* Make some verses; itis a kind ofcompositionyou are unaccustomed 
to, and will distract your mind.'^ *' I do not like bad verses ; I could not 
endure my own.'^ "Attack some deep problem of geometry.'' " When a 
depraved taste has supplied us with aliment of strong flavor, all other 
food is displeasing to us. The passions are a degradation of the intel- 
lect; outside of the feeling which absorbs me, nothing in the world 
interests me." As a physician tries all remedies in desperate cases, Tur- 
got then endeavored to excite the fortitude of his friend by examples 
taken from ancient and modern history and even mythology, but all in 
vain ; time alone could cure, time alone did cure, in fact, the wound 
which rendered our confr&re so unhappy. 

If the public were wrong in accusing Condorcet of insensibility, they 
were equally mistaken in considering him indifferent in matters of art. 

When at the French Academy was read for the first time one of those 
literary productions which formed theglory and the honoroftheeighteenth 
century, Condorcet would remain completely impassive in the midst of 
the most enthusiastic manifestations of admiration for the author, would 
hardly seem to have listened, but as soon as opportunity offered he 
wonld analyze minutely the work, appreciating its beauties and indi- 
cating the weak portions with tact and delicacy as well as admirable 
judgment^ while in support of his remarks he would recite without hesi- 
tation long quotations in prose or verse which had become engraved 
upon his most remarkable memory. 

The reserve Condorcet imposed upon himself before strangers gave 
place in social intercourse to a gayety, simple, refined, and slightly 
epigrammatic in expression. It was then the immense variety of his 
knowledge was revealed. He spoke with equal clearness, equal assur- 
ance of the rules of geometry, and the regulations of the palace; of 
philosophy and the genealogy of the court people ; of the cus!x)ms of 
the republics of antiquity, and the trifles of society. 

The secretary of the ancient Academy of Sciences descended into the 
polemic arena only to defend his friends against the attacks of mediocrity, 
of hate, and of envy. But his courageous devotion did not lead him to 
share the unjust prejudices even of those to whom he was most tenderly 
attached. This kind of independence is so rare I must give some exam- 
ples of it. 

D'Alembert, unconsciously influenced by a feeling of jealousy, (iid not 
render foil justice to Clairant. Yet we find Condorcet, in his eulogies 
of M. de Trudaine and of M. d'Arci, referring almost unnecessarily to the 
relations of these savans with the author of the beautiful work upon the 
figure of the earth, while he does not hesitate to call Clairant a man of 
genias and to speak of the wonders he accomplished in his youth. 

Digitized by V^OOQIC 

234 condoecet: a biography. 

Lagrange and d'Alembert had a very low opinion of the Lettres WEu- 
ler A une Princesse cPAllemagne. They had even gone so far as to call 
them, in allusion to a feeble work written by Newton in his old age, 
*'the commentary upon the apocalypse of Euler ''j Condorcet reganling 
them from another point of view found the letters useful, and not con- 
tent with praising them, became the editor of them, without the slight- 
est suspicion that this independence of opinion might cause umbrage to 
his best friends. 

The book of Helv^tius had irritated Turgot, who expressed himself 
very emphatically about it, in his correspondence. Upon this point the 
celebrated intendant of Limoges was impatient of contradiction. Con- 
dorcet nevertheless maintained his own opinion of the work with great 
firmness j he was far from considering it irreproachable, but thought 
that its dangerous tendencies were exaggerated. 

Vanity reigns supreme in all classes of society, particularly, it is said, 
among men of letters. We can nevertheless affirm that this active and 
universal stimulant of our actions never affected the beautiful soul of 
our former confrere. A number of circumstances give evidence of this 
rare phenomenon. Jealousy is the just punishment of vanity ; yet Con- 
dorcet never experienced this cruel infirmity. When absorbed by hia 
arduous duties as secretary of the Academy, and by his literary and po- 
litical engagements, our confrere was obliged to renounce the great and 
pure pleasure of scientific discoveries ; he nevertheless wrote to Euler, 
to Lagrange, to Lambert (d'Alembert was sick at that time),^^ Give me 
news of your work ; I am like one of those old gourmands, who, unable 
longer to digest, still take pleasure in seeing others eat." 

Condorcet carried so far his desire to be useful that his door was never 
closed against anyone; he was always accessible; he received every 
day without impatience, without even appearing to be fatigued, the 
interminable visits of the legions of troublesome and idle fellows who 
abound in all great cities, especially Paris. Considering the value of 
his time, this was kindness carried to heroism. As to Condorcet's dis- 
interestedness, I need not speak of it, as it is well known. ''In ethics," he 
wrote in a letter to Turgot, " I am an enemy to indiflFerence and a friend 
of ihdulgence." The phrase would not represent the truth if taken in 
an absolute sense. Condorcet was very indulgent toward others but 
very severe with himself. He was very independent in action, so much 
so as to injure himself seriously by considering certain forms of polite- 
ness, current in society, as species of small change too trifling to be 
taken into account As an example of his disregard of popular opinion, 
especi&lly where a principle was concerned, I give the following incident: 
M. de Maure])as was very much irritated by a letter directed against 
Keeker, and in which occurred some passages which could be injurious 
to the public credit. It was wrongfully attributed to Condorcet. The 
Duke de Nivernais endeavored to persuade his friend and confrere to 
write to the minister, but be resisted with a firmness which, at the timoi 

igi ize y g 

condoecet: a biography. 235 

seemed iDexpIicnble. To-day I flod the explsDation in an nnpnblished 
letter addressed to Target. The secretary of the Academy would Dot 
pay even the semblance of respect to a man whom he was far from 

c3oDdorcet acknowledged his faults and the errors he committed with 
a frankness of which the following brief incident is an example: "Do 
yoQ know," s;ud some one to him, " the circumstances which caused the 
rupture between Jean Jacques and Diderot! '' "No," he answered, "I 
only know that Diderot is an excellent man, and whoever involved him 
in dissension was wrong!" "But it was yourself!" "Then I was 

In the edition of Pascal's thoughts, by the author of M6rope, I find 
this notcuf Condorcet : "The expression, ' honest men,' signified originally 
men of probity ; in the time ot Pascal, it indicated men of good society; 
now it is applied to men of title or of money." "No," said Voltaire, 
addressing himself to the annotator, " the honest men are those at 
whose head yon stand." 

To justify this exclamation, since it seemed to me the expression of 
tmtb, has been my object in writing these pages. I shall be happy if 
the portrait I have traced of the illustrious perpetual secretary of the 
ancient Academy of Sciences has dissipated the very cruel prejudices, 
neutralized the effects of the more detestable calumnies which have in- 
jured his memory ; if, with those who enjoyed the intimacy of Condorcet, 
I have made you see in him a man who has honored science by his 
labors, France by his high qualities, humanity by his virtues. 

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By Ernest Favre. 

[Translated for the Smithsonian Institution* by M. A. Henry.] 

The name oif Agassiz, for trwenty years intimately connected with the 
history of science in America, has nevertheless retained its i)opularity ia 
Switzerland, where his works have a great celebrity. It is in our country 
that he was bom, in our country he acquired renown, and Switzerland 
can never forget that he is among the number of her diildren* Without 
other resource than his intelligence and his energy, he rose to the first 
rank among the eminent men of science of our country. We desire in 
these few pages, as a souvenir of this great scientist, to notice briefly 
the various phases of his life and the principal subjects of investigation 
he pursued.t 


Louis Jean Rodolphe Agassiz was bom on the 28th of May, 1807, in 
the rectory of the village of Metier, situated in the eanton of Friburg, on 
the shore of Lake Morat. Nothing in his family nor in his surroundings 
gave promise of the brilliant destiny which awaited him. His ancestors 
had filled the office of pastor for six generations ; his father, deprived of 
fortune, had embraced the hereditary occupation. It was then entirely 
to his own energy, his talents, and his genius that he owed the high 
position he afterward attained. 

TThere is little to be said of his early years. From his infancy the ob- 
servation of animals was one of his greatest pleasures. He passed many 
hours fishing in the lake and in studying the habits of fishes ; he watched 
with interest the metamorphoses of the caterpillar. The same taste was 
manifested both at Bienne, where he pursued his studies in the college, 
and at Orbe, where he resided later, by his passion for collecting insects 
and plants, and he was often heard explaining with enthusiasm to his 
younger brother phenomena of nature he as yet but imperfectly under- 

*From the '* Archives des Sciences do la Biblioth^ue UniversellOy Geneve, Mai 1877, 
tome uax." 

t In the " Catalogue of Scientific Papers," published by the Royal Society of Lon- 
don, is found a list of 130 publications made by Agassiz. This list includes only 
articles which have appeared in scientific periodicals. To it must therefore be added 
all his wious works published separately, as weU as his numerous contribntionB since 
the year 1863, at which date the above catalogue terminated. 

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stood. The course of the Academy of Laasanne afterward turned his 
attention toward cla^ical studies. 

When he arrived at the age to choose a profession his parents desired 
to procure for him a commercial apprenticeship, but he obtained instead 
permission from them to pursue the study of medicine, which could give 
him both the means of providing for his support and the opi)ortunity of 
continuing the study of natural history, for which he felt a decided voca- 
tion. He passed two years at Zurich, then a winter at Heidelberg, 
where Bischoff, Leuckardt, and Tiedemann were professors. While at 
this university fishes were still one of his favorite studies. He already 
began to classify them and to make drawings of them, and thus accumu- 
lated material which later was of great service to him. 

In the autumn of 1826 he- went to Munich, where the chairs of natural 
history were occupied by men of the first rank. Oken Martins received 
him with kindness; Dcellinger, the illustrious professor of embryology, 
took him under his protection, made him a member of his household, 
and developed in him a taste for this science, to which Agassiz always 
attached great importance. At this time the young student had already 
exdtcd great anticipations for his future ; soon his masters and comrades, 
among whom we find the botanists Schimper, and Braun, and Burck- 
hardt, his draftsman, were his friends, and he became the center of an 
eager group of scientists. "When we assembled,'' he wrote, "for con- 
versation, or to give each other lectures, as was frequently our custom, 
our professors were often among our auditors, and encouraged us in our 
efforts for individual research. My room was the place of meeting — 
bedroom, work-room, museum, library, lecture-room, and fencing school, 
all in one. Students and professors called it the Little Academy." 

The four years he passed thus at Munich in the study of medicine, of 
the natural sciences, and even of philosophy, with all the hope, the en- 
thusiasm of youth, were among the happiest of his life, and he always 
cherished a pleasant recollection of them; moreover, it was duriDg this 
period that his ftiture career was definitely decided. Martins and Spix 
had only a short time before returned from an expedition to the river 
Amazon, and Spix had since died, having only commcDced the descrip- 
tion of the fishes collected. Martins requested Agassiz, somewhat pre- 
pared for the subject by his own studies, to take charge of the work. 
The young student acquitted himself of his difi&cult task with honor, 
and this was the commencement of his reputation. The work appeared 
in 1829.* The same year Agassiz receive the doctorate of philosophy. 
The following year he was admitted to practice as doctor of medicine, 
and went to Vienna in order to study, in the collections of that city, the 
fishes of the Danube. 

He was recalled to Switzerland by his father, who demanded that he 
should return there and practice medicine; but he sncceeded in obtain- 

'Selecta genera et species piscium quos coUegit et pingendos curavit, Dr. 
Spix; digessit, descripsit et observationibiis iUustravity Dr. L. Agassiz. 

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ing a delay, and after a brief sojourn in Vienna went to Paris, where he 
conceived a strong desire to bring himself into relation with the pleiades 
of celebrities of the Museum of Natural History. Cuvier, Blainville, 
Valenciennes received very kindly the young doctor. He saw frequently 
Humboldt, who was then in the height of his renown, and who gave him 
substantial proof of his Mendship by furnishing him the means of pro- 
longing his stay in Paris. • 

The interest felt by Agassiz in the investigation of fishes increased 
with his knowledge of tlie subject He found in Paris one of the most 
complete collections, and a beautiful series of fossil fishes from Monte 
Bolca belonging to Count Gazzola. He undertook the description of 
the latter. This was his first step in paleontological research. Cuvier, 
who soon observed in the young naturalist signs of rare ability, placed 
generously at his disposal material collected for a history of fossil fishes, 
and this influential encouragement decided his career. 

Zoology alone did not satisfy his powers of generalization, and he 
soon recognized that paleontology was its indispensable complement. 
The division of the animal kingdom into branches, classes, onlers, fami- 
lies, genera, and species, was not in his opinion merely a system, in- 
vented to simplify research, but a divine institution; according to his 
view, this great plan of creation existed from the beginning, and the 
organisms now found upon the surface of the globe form a part of it as 
well as those whose remains are found in the most ancient deposits. 
The nature of fossils, the entire system of their organization, prove in the 
most conclusive manner the existence of this primitive plan, which has 
develoi)ed regularly up to the present period. Paleontology furnishes 
thousands of species, of genera, and even of numerous families, which 
to-day have entirely disappeared, and which constitute an important part 
of this great plan. To base a zoological classification upon living organ- 
isms is to make a whole of a small part, is to eliminate arbitrarily fix)m 
the divine system the majority of the elements of which it is composed. 
The great work of Cuvier had suddenly revealed the importance of i)a- 
leontology. In his investigation of fossil bones he laid the foundation 
of this science, by showing that the species found below the surface of 
the globe are different from those living at the present time. He had 
established the laws of the unity of plan which allowed the conception 
of ancient from existing forms ; and the law of concordance of charactersj 
which, establishing the necessity that all parts of an organism are dis- 
posed for the same end, authorized the deduction from each of them of 
the character of the other parts, as well as of the kind of life of the ani- 
mal, t 

To understand an extinct type we do not need to have it entire under 
our eyes. The solid parts (which are alone preserved) not only give us 
sufficient characteristics to class it in the genus and the si>ecies to which 

'Letters of Agassiz to Loads Coulon, Mem. Soo. Phys., Geneve, 1874, XXTIT, 472. 
tPictet, Traits de Pal^ntologie. Introdnotion. 

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it belongs, but a mere fragment of this framework, a single bone, a jaw, 
a tooth is in most cases enough for this purpose. ^ 

These principles are based, above all, upon the comparative anatomy 
of living animals, the study of which is indispensable to a knowledge of 
extinct types. Agassiz applied them to that of fossil fishes, the collec- 
tions of which contained at that time many sj^ecimens which had not 
yet been examined. The public and private museums of England fur- 
nished most of the material for his investigations, but those of the conti- 
nent were also made to contribute. 


Hitherto we have seen Agassiz utilizing for the profit of science the 
great resources placed at his disposal. His return to Switzerland, in 
1832, makes us acquainted with a new attribute of his great mind, the 
talent for creation and organization. The liberal encouragement of 
Louis Gonlon, and among others that of Humboldt, who exercised a 
great influence over the King of Prussia, then suzerain of Keuchd^tel, 
facilitated the establishment of Agassiz in that city. An annual com- 
I>en8ation of 80 louis as professor at ihe gymnasium, and the sale of his 
collections for 500 louis, provided the first resources necessary for the 
continuation of his publications. He had not here, as at Munich and 
Paris, immense stores of material at his command and illustrious men 
of science to come to his aid. Everything was in an unformed condi- 
tion ; but he was the pioneer, the chief, and he soon rallied about him a 
group of naturalists, who recalled upon anotlier theater the " Little Acad- 
emy" of Munich. The well-known names, Desor, 0. Vogt, Grossly, 
Guyot, Nicolet, of Montmollin, are connected with this i)eriod of his 
life ; the first two were his most active collaborators. Several of his 
fellow-students of Munich — Weber, Dinkel, and Burckhardt — ^followed 
him to this new residence, where they labored in the execution of his , 
designs ; one of them, a citizen of Keuchfitel, p. Kicolet, oi>ened at his 
instigation a vast lithographic establishment, where all the plates of his 
memoirs were executed. The modest chair he occupied became soon the 
most distinguished of the gymnasium ^ the collections increased rapidly ; 
the public became interested ; a few young men entered into these re- 
searches ; and thus was founded, in 1833, under the presidency of L. 
Goulon, the Society of Natural History, of which Agassiz was the secre- 
tary and the soul for many years. Keuch&tel became an important sci- 
entific centre; thence proceeded successively and at short intervals 
voluminous scientific publications of the first order. 

In 1S39 he published the commencement of his Hisiaire natureUe dea 
Pois$on8 d?eau douce de VEurope centrales which contains the embryology 
of the Salmonides by O. Vogt. This work, undertaken on a very exten- 
sive plan, was never completed. 

The history of fossil fishes, begun at Paris, was terminated at this 
period. The first part appeared in 1833, at his own expense, but his 

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modest resources were not suflBcient to continue the work, as it was ac- 
companied by expensive plates.* The Geological Society of London, 
aided by Lord Enniskillen and Sir Francis Egerton, furnished the means 
he lacked. A draftsman, Denkel, worked for him constantly for sev- 
eral years. This publication, which maybe regarded as a continuation 
of Cuvier's Eesearches upon fossil bones, was not finished until 1843. 
It is the most original work of Agassiz, and one of the principal monu- 
ments of his greatness. 

There is no class of animals that can famish elements more important 
for the history of the development of the organic kingdom, the law of 
the succession of beings, and the relations of the fossil fauna than the 
fishes. They alone of the vertebrates appeared in the first ages of the 
world, and passed through all the phases of creation up to the present 

An osteology of fishes, a rational classification, the description of a 
multitude of new species, and theoretic consequences of great imjiort- 
ance were the results of the wise researches of Agassiz. 

One of the distinctive characteristics of this class of animals is a skin 
covered with scales of peculiar form and structure ; now the nature of 
this envelope is in direct accordance with the interior organization. 
The scales, therefore, from this point of view, are of great importance, 
and may serve as a basis of classification. The author subdivides them 
into four orders, as follows : 

Cycloids. — Scales imbricated, corneous, and without enamel, the pos- 
terior edge simple. Skeleton bony. 

C/enoi^».— Scales imbricated, corneous, without enamel, the posterior 
edge indented. Skeleton bony. 

Oanoids. — Scales angular, and covered with a layer of enamel, their 
edges uniting regularly. Skeleton less bony than the preceding, some- 
, times cartilaginous. 

Placoids. — Osseous plates, disposed irregularly, terminated on the 
upper side by points or hooks. Skeleton cartilaginous. 

The last two orders have existed from the first apx>earahce of life ui)on 
the surface of the globe. The others commenced with the Cretaceous 
period, and include most of the fishes of the present time. This classifi- 
cation has since uudergone important modifications; it however assisted 
very considerably progress in the knowledge of this class. The hand 
of genius, said Pictet, is everywhere manifest throughout this beautiful 

The monograph of the fishes of the old red sandstone, undertaken at 
the request of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 
and completed in 1844, supplemented the preceding work.t The author 

*Beck€rch€8 aur lea Poisaona fosailea ; 5 volumes quarto, with an atlas of 384 plates, in 
folio, most of the figures being colored. 

t Supplement aux rechaohea aur lea Poiaaona foaailea, Monographie dea poiaaona foaaUaa 
du tfieux grh rouge ou ayathne d^vimien dea Uea Britanniquea et de Buaaie, 4to. 41 pi. 

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was obliged to describe a very numerous and entirely new fauna. When 
he commenced his investigation of fishes, he was not acquainted with 
any species older than those of the coal strata ; the number of these 
foasils has immeasurably increased since then, and is now counted by 
thousands. Agassiz recognized that among the living species a small 
number only have a heterocercal tail 5 that is to say, one in which the 
upper lobe is formed by the prolongation of the vertebral column. These 
animals are the last representatives of a type largely diffused in the 
Devonian and Carboniferous seas. All the other fishes, on the contrary, 
have a homocercal or symmetrical tail, at the base of which the vertebral 
colnmn stops, and does not penetrate either of the lobes. He observed 
that in the embryo of certain fishes the tail is at first heterocercal, as 
that of the paleozic fishes, and afterward becomes homocercal. This 
important discovery, in connection with others of a like nature, per- 
mitted him to establish the law that the " embryo of the fish during its 
development, the present class of fishes with its numerous families, 
and the type of fish in its geological history, undergo strictly analogous 
phases," and in a more general way he applies this law to vertebrates ; 
" The successive creations have undergone phases of development anal- 
ogous to those the embryo passes through during its growth, and simi- 
lar to the gradations the present creation shows us in its ascending 
series, considered as a whole." Then rising from the consideration of the 
fishes to more general views of the phases of creation, he writes : ^' The 
most incontestable result of modem paleontological research, in the ex- 
amination of the question which at present occupies us, is the fact, now 
beyond controversy, of the simultaneous appearance of particular tyi)es 
of all classes of invertebrate animals from the earliest development of life 
upon the surface of the globe.'' The history of this successive develop- 
ment ** shows conclusively the impossibility of referring the first inhabi- 
tants of the earth to a small number of branches, differentiated from 
one parent stock by the influence of the modifications of exterior con- 
ditions of existence.''* 

It was in 1844 that Agassiz wrote these lines, and he all his life re- 
mained faithful to this opinion. The future will decide whether he was 
right or wrong ; it is true that for the moment the balance does not seem 
to lie in his favor. It is difficult, indeed, to comprehend why the results 
of these admirable researches, and of those he made later, did not lead 
him to sustain the theory of transformation of which they seem to be the 
natural consequence. Still it is impossible to consider his opposition to 
this theory as resulting from prejudice, or as resting upon other grounds 
than pure scientific reason. 

Agassiz had a mind too comprehensive, he was too enterprising, to con- 
fine his attention to a single class of the animal kingdom, and we find 
him soon producing a series of works upon a variety of subjects. Thus 
he undertook, with M. Desor, the study of the Echinoderms ; and their 

* Introdaction to a monograph of the fossil fishes of the old red sandstone, pp. 4, 13. 
a Mis. 69 16 Digitized by ^OOglC 


researches formed the basis of the ulterior investigations of this class. 
Mr. Desor soon made a specialty of the subject, and to him we owe the 
publication of several works in the preparation of which Agassiz was 
only his collaborator. Agassiz also pursued some investigations, as new 
as they were original, on living and fossil mollusca.* 

A large number of articles upon special i)oints of natural history and 
memoirs containing more general conclusions, succeeded each other rap- 
idly during these years. While these original memoirs exhibited the 
scientific genius of their author, his numerous lectures, the fruits of his 
vast erudition, formed the substance of various other works. 

One of the principal of the«e is a catalogue of the genera of all known 
animals, a work to which several of the most distinguished geologists 
of that period contributed. At the same time he collected the elements 
of a zo()logical and geological dictionary pubhshed later in London, f 

" We have a good working force," he writes to a friend in Gteneva ; 
" Gressly is here. Desor is studying the Galerites. I am busy, alter- 
nately, with Myas and the fresh-water fishes. Vogt with anatomy. 
Thus the time passes agreeably and useftilly." 

The energy he displayed during these years was something astonish- 
ing ; the history of science presents no other example like it. One of 
his collaborators gives us a vivid picture of the activity which reigned in 
the laboratories of Neuchdtel. " It might be supposed," said Mr. Vogt, 
"that in such complicateil machinery the wheels would sometimes have 
interfered with each other. The printing-office constantly demanded 
copy, the lithographic establishment designs, and yet the work of his 
original researches never ceased ; hardly had we the time necessary to 
complete one set of labors before Agassiz had new plans and assumed 
new tasks. Every thought that passed through his head was converted 
^ into a great work, with hundreds of folio plates, hundreds of pages 
of text ; in all this he was the acknowledged master, as well as in the 
collection of new material for his work. He knew how to draw all Eu- 
rope into contribution. Often boxes which had been sent for and awaited 
with feverish impatience remained weeks and even months unopened, 
because in the meanwhile another subject occupied attention, and the 
objects they contained had lost their interest." 

Order did not prevail either in the abode or in the laboratory of Agas- 
siz. "In my house everything is astray but nothing is lost," he would 
say to those who came to consult specimens or books he could not 

The reputation of the young savant extended rapidly. In 1839, at the 

*MimoircBur les moules dea Mollusques vivants ei fomlea, M^m. Soc. NeuchAtol ; 11.— 
£iudes criiiquca sur les MoUudquea fosailca. Alimoire sur les Trigonies ; 1840. — Monograpkk 
des Mycs ; 1842-1845. —JcoiKWTrajj^ic de9 Coquillga tertiaires r6pui6e8 ideniiquea avec 1t9 
rivantes; 1845. 

i Bibliographia Zdologiae et Geologiae, A geueral catalogue of aU hooks, tracts, and 
memoirs on zoology, by Prof. L. Agassiz, corrected, enlarged, and edited by Strickland. 
London, 1848. 

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age of 32, the Academy of Sciences made him a corresponding member. 
Large in stature, well formed, endowed with excellent health, with an 
amiable face, and an eye which beamed with unusual intelligence, Agas- 
siz gained the sympathy of all who approached him. His countenance 
was firank and open, his manner winning; he animated the reunions of 
the naturalist and the woi^k of the labcM^tories by his vivacity and good 

" He was,'' said one of his sdentiflc adversaries (formerlv among his 
devote^l friends), ^^ a man ftdl of kindness, of enthusiasm for science, 
and easily moved by all that is beautiful and good." A warmth which 
nothing coidd leprMftwas with him united with facility and charm of 
expieMoa. Always ready to ^me theories, to discuss them, and to 
advaace new ideas, he captivated his auditors by the vigor and clear- 
ness of his exposition. His public and class lectures, too, were always 
extraordioarUy successful. Even when he discussed the most abstruse 
subject his auditors hung upon his lips. The talent for speaking, which 
he possessed to a high degree, was one of his most valuable means of 
influence, and contributed greatly to his celebrity. 

He was preminently a zoologist ; he distinguished himself particularly 
by the justness and promptitude of his perceptions. He knew by the 
first inspection all a collection contained, the new specimens, the types 
alrea<ly describe<l, and he remembered admirably what he had seen. 
He has been accused of being too ready to form new species. The 
learned geologist of Berlin, Leopold von Buch, whose peculiar face and 
eccentric costume often excited curiosity, said one day, " "^yhen I am at 
Xeuchatel, and I knock at the door of Agassiz, I am always afraid." 
** Why!" asked some one. "I dread lest he will take me for a new 
species." Science has, however, ratified most of the distinctions he es- 
tablished. His just regard for the value of characteristics led him to 
drcurascribe sx>ecies within narrower limits, and in this respect he had 
a happy influence upon paleontology. 

His zoological works, which were numerous enough to have absorbed 
several ordinary lives, still did not occupy all his time, and a new field 
of research was opened to him. Let us then, for a moment, leave the 
museums and laboratories, and transport ourselves to the foot of the 
glaciers of the Alps, where we will soon see him arrive with his com- 

For some time the attention of naturalists had been drawn to the 
X>resence throughout a large part of Switzerland of blocks of various 
dimensions, composed of rock different in nature from the soil upon 
which they rest. How did these rocks, to which has been given the 
name of erratic blocks, and which are of Alpine origin, come to be dis- 
persed over the Swiss plain and upon the Jura f Two theories are given ; 
Leopold von Buch, filie von Beaumont, and others, maintain that they 
were transported by water. But their size, sometimes enormous, and 
the height at which they are found upon the sides of the Jura, render 

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this hypothesis inadmissible. To a Valoisian mountaineer, Perraudin, 
belongs the honor of solving the problem. Observing that the glaciers, 
at the present time, carry blocks, which they throw oflf at their extremity, 
he explained the dissemination of the bowlders in qaestion by the 
hypothesis that the glaciers mnst have extended in times past mnch 
beyond their present limits, and brought with them, on their surface, 
material which they left when they retreated. He communicated this 
idea to Charpentier, who discussed it with him, and ended by adopting 
it. The dispersion of the blocks is connected with other phenomena 
which confirm this origin; the i)olished and rounded surfaces, the 
accumulation of angular blocks, the hillocks, which have exactly the 
form of moraincH, the unstratified deposits, in which are found i)ebbles 
covered with scratches — all these facts, which are repeated to-dayin the 
immediate vicinity of the glaciers which produce them, also show that 
these same glaciers once covered the larger jmrt of Switzerland, leaving 
the traces we have indicated. If Perraudin was the inventor of the 
theory (1815), if Venetz contributed to its development (1833), it was 
Charpentier who examined it, studied it, perfected it, made it known 
(1835), and later dissemihated it in the world of science with the authority 
his standing gave him (1841). "To this ing^iious and persevering 
naturalist," said Alphonse Favre, "should be given the greater part of 
the glory attached to the discovery of this great scientific truth.^ 

Agassiz having heard of this discovery made a visit to Charpentier 
for the purpose of combating it. He remained several months with 
him and left well convinced of the truth of the theory, and ftill of eager- 
ness to verify the proofs already advanced in its favor, to find new ones, 
and, in short, to study the subject with the activity he carried into every- 
thing. The question had been under discussion for some time when the 
Helvetic Society of Natural Science met at Neuchatel, under his presi- 
dency, on the 24th of July, 1837. TThe opening discourse turned upon 
this question, and fell like a bomb in the midst of the most iK)sitive 
adversaries of the glacial theory who happened to be present at the 

Leopold von Buch, who was not famous for sweetness of temper, was 
very angry, and would examine nothing, hear nothing in regard to the 
matter. Agassiz, who had foreseen his opposition, had prepared the 
following paragraph for the close of his speech to mollify him : " When 
Mr. de Buch affirmed for the first time, in the face of the formidable 
school of Werner, that granite is of plutonic origin^ and that the moun- 
tains were raised, what said the Neptunistst He was at first alone in 
his support of the theory, and it was only by defending it with the con- 
viction of genius that he made it prevail. Happily, in scientific matters, 
numerical majorities have never at first decided any question.'^ 

Notwithstanding the opposition of these great men, who had them- 
selves contributed so much to the progress of science, the theory gained 
• ground, and is to-day generally admitted. 

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The basis of these researches was necessarily the study of existing 
glaciers. Their constitution, their increase, their motion, the influence 
of temperature, the transportation of blocks, the formation of moraines,* 
were all so many questions to be elucidated. Agassiz threw himself 
with ardor into this new pursuit, and established himself with Desor, 
Vogt, and others, upon, the glacier of the Aar. They constructed 
a lodging-place under the shelter of a large block of ice upon the 
centre morain, and went to work. The following year, the block hav- 
ing melted, they formed a cabin of wood and tent-cloth. It was di- 
vided into three chambers ; the first was both laboratory and parlor, 
whei*e they received the savans who flocked from all parts of the country 
to the Hotel des Neuchdtelois^ a name the modest abode has retained in 
the history of science; the second and third, furnished only with straw, 
served as bedchambers, one for the naturalists, the other for the guides. 
It may be imagined that the establishment was not comfortable, and 
it required an unusual amount of energy to lead such a life during sev- 
eral weeks every year. A letter of Mr. Desor gives some idea ot the 
difficulties encountered: "You are much mistaken," he writes to one 
of his firiends, " if you suppose that all is pleasure, satisfaction, and in- 
tellectual eiyoyment at the Hdtel Xetichdtelais. We have been shut up 
for three days in our tent unable to venture out, the gux^ is so furious. 
Do you know what a gtur is! I think not, and you are happy in your 
ignorance. I can only say in regard to it that if the founders of the va- 
rious religions had known of tkegtix they would not have imagined a hell 
for lost souls, but would simply have sent them to the Finsteraarhorn, 

and secured for them a perpetual (71U7. It takes hold of the limbs, 

dries the 8kin,'renders the imagination heavy and obtuse, prevents the 
exercise of the culinary art. In the night of the 21st to 22d it over- 
turned our cabin, and we were obliged to work until morning to restore 
it again. Imagine how delightful it must have been to work in the 
open air at a temx>erature two degrees below zero, while a tempest was 
constantly blowing clouds of pulverized ice in our faces.^'t But every 
day and night was not hke this. Gayety and intellectual enjoyment 
often reigned under the tent on the glacier of the Aar. These expedi- 
tions were continued until 1845. 

The greatest success crowned these persevering efforts. The ascents 
made by the Neuchatel naturalists and their establishment upon the 
glacier were widely known. Nothing similar had been undertaken since 
the explorations of de Saussure on Mont Blanc. The Genevese savant 
was too early in his efforts to have many imitators. But an excursion 
to Zennsity the ascent of the Jungfrau and of the Schreckhorn gave 
an unpetus to mountain excursions, which began from that time to be 
popular. In the mean time our naturalists were studying seriously the 
constitution of the glaciers and the phenomena connected with them, 

*A whirlwind of gnow, called so in the Oberland. 

t Letter to M. A. Favre, August 1, 1842. /^ j 

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and notwithstanding their want of familiarity with the laws of physics, 
the subject was. so new that they rapidly acquired valuable information. 
. On his return from each exi>edition Agassiz published the results of 
his researches. His object was not only to give an account of his ob- 
servations, but to disseminate the theory of which he had become the 
defender and promoter. Numerous memoirs 4ipon present and ancient 
glaciers of Switzerland, upon the glacial theory, upon the erratic blocks 
of the Jura, bear the date of these years. Large works which appeared 
later at Neuch§,tel and at Paris contained the results of his studies.* 

These works revealed numerous phenomena then com))letely unknown, 
made the knowledge of the glaciers popular throughout the world, and 
gave a decisive impulse to this kind of study. 

Many years later Agassiz, while navigating the river Amazon, gave 
the following illustration of the aspect presented by the glacial i)eriod : 
^^ There is a phenomenon not uncommon in the autumn in Switzerland 
which may help us to reconstruct this wonderful picture. Sometimes in 
a September morning the whole plain of Switzerland is filled with vajwr, 
which, when its pure white undulating surface is seen from the higher 
summits of the Jura, looks like a snow-covered sea of iccj appearing to 
descend from the peaks of the Alps, and extending toward the Jura, 
while from all the tributary valleys similar masses i>our down to meet it.^ f 

In 1840 Agassiz went to Great Britain to seek there for traces of 
ancient glaciers. He had no trouble in finding them both in England 
and in Scotland. His journey through the country was a veritable tri- 
umph, a series of ovations. 

This period of incessant activity, during which the scientific corps of 
l^euchatel became so honorably distinguished, was no\, however, for 
Agassiz a period of undisturbed happiness. ^ 

To meet the expenses of his extensive publications, his travels, his 
expeditions to the glaciers, a large fortune was necessary, and this 
Agassiz did not possess. The sums he owed to the generosity of. the 
King of Prussia, and which at that time had taken the form of a regular 
pension, were not at all sufficient for his needs, and rapidly disappeareil 
in the gulf of his expenses. Still the fire of his activity his labors, 
his expeditions, continued ; but the situation at last became so critical 
that he was forced to bring order into his affairs. Some letters of this 
time show the serious embarrassment these difficulties occasioned him. 
'' I am frightened at the approach of a new year, the time for the settle- 
ment of accounts in Neuch&tel, and I work like a madman to be able to 
meet my indebtedness. If God preserves my health I hoi)e, after one 
or two years of continued labor, if I moderate my expenses, and particu- 
larly if I abstain from publishing anything more on my own account, to 

•Agassiz. Etudes 8ur lesglnderB, avec un atlas de 32 j>Z. NencMtel, 1840. yourellts 
etudes it espetitnces anr les glaciers aduels, Paris, 1847. 

t A Journey in Brazil, by Professor aud Mrs. Louis Agassiz, Boston, l^iOSy chapter 
iii, p. 116. 

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settle my affairs completely, but for the time I am horribly cramped, I 
must say almost paralyzed ; but it is my own fault, and I must bear pa- 
tiently the consequences until I can succeed in getting myself afloat 
again." " My great regret in the present condition of my affairs is that 
I am obliged to employ a portion of my time with matters I ought not 
to have neglected, and which occupy me now much more than if I had 
always attended to them, and then I am obliged to retard some of the 
publications I greatly desired to make next, but which it would be im- 
prudent for me to undertake at present, for I should reproduce the em- 
barrassment from which I only just commence to be relieved if I did not 
conduct all my enterprises with the utmost circumspection.'' " My life," 
he writes again, '^ is now a vortex, in which the best part of my nature 
is hardly conscious of its existence, so numerous and pressing are the 
exterior exigencies from which I suffer." 

But how many grand ideas, how many admirable works, would have 
been lost to science if the young savant had not been willing in his pub- 
hcations to dispense with the economy he would have been obliged to 
exercise to keep within his moderate pay as a professor. 

Agassiz was devoted above all things to science ; devoted without re- 
serve ; and he had always great talent in making others share his enthusi- 
asm. Bringing into contribution the talents of some, the purses of others, 
adding all his own resources, modest it is true, but also all his time and 
his genius, he attained a result evident now to every one. A letter he 
wrote to Professor Silliman, when about to embark for America, shows 
how entirely he gave himself to science. " In order to provide for the 
extra expense, 1 shall be obliged to live very economically and in a man- 
ner little in accordance with the royal munificence which has furnished 
the means of making this journey." And, again, " My sphere is entirely 
circumscribed by the scientific world, and all ipy ambition is limited to 
being useful to the branch of science 1 particulariy cultivate. With all 
this I am no misanthrope; but I learned early that where one has no 
fortune, one cannot serve science and at the same time live in the world. 
K I have been able to produce numerous expensive publications, it has 
been only by following this system of economy and voluntary seclusion ; 
and the results which I have obtained thus far have rewarded me so 
well for the privations which I have suffered, that I have no temptation 
to adopt another style of life, even should I hereafter, and especially in 
your country, suffer more trouble than I have had to sustain in my oivti/' • 

Discord, however, had penetrated the scientific coterie of Neiieliute]- 
Enthusiastic over new ideas, Agassiz entered into them with ardor ; 
when he found them just he developed them and diffused them. Older 
than his colleagues, more enterprising, already well known in the sci- 
entific world, he published under his own name the work done in hia 

* Letter to Professor Silliman, October 20, 1645. American Journal of Scloncu: 
1874. Vol. vii, pp. 78, 79. 

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laboratories, giving to the* names of his collaborators a secondary place. 
It was he who inspired the work, who collected the material, who bore 
the expense of the publication. But the aids soon demanded the credit 
they considered their due ; hence arose dissatisfaction and disagreements, 
which continued to increjuse until the union was dissolved. Mr. Vogt 
was the first to leave the association in order to go to Paris ; Mr. Desor 
continued to labor on Agassiz's works, even after the departure of the 
latter for America. He later joined the savant there, but he afterward 
returned to Europe. One cannot but regret that these personal ques- 
tions should have interfered so soon with the happy scientific labor of 
that time. 

Agassiz passed the winter of 1845-'46 at Paris. The vast collections, 
public and private, of that city were generously placed at his disposal, 
and enabled him to complete, with the valuable assistance of M. Desor, 
his researches upon the Echinoderms. Those of Alcide d' Jrbigny, 
of Deshayes, of Mechelin, of Graves, of Alexander Brongniart, of de 
Vemeuil were in turn examined. The gallery of the museum con- 
taining the Echinoidea was reserved for him and closed to the public, 
and hither were brought in succession all the cases and barrels contain- 
ing Echinoids. Considerable material, derived from the scientific ex- 
plorations of Baudin, of Freycinet, of Captain Duperr6, passed also 
through his hands. All these documents were used in the publica- 
tion of the Catalogue raisonn^. According to the classification adopted, 
the Echinoderms are subdivided into three orders: The Stelleroids 
which include the Asteroids, the Ophiuroids and the Crinoids, ra- 
diated animals, either free or fixed, and of which the body is furnished 
with rays. The Echinoids, or sea-urchins, with a body globular and 
covered with regular plates, and the Ilolothurioids, of which the body 
is coreaceous, or leather, and elongated. He divided the Echinoids 
into four families: Cidarida, Clypeastroidea, Cassidulidea, and Spatan- 
goida. In his preceding works he deduced from the structure of these 
animals and their successive appearance important consequences for the 
general history of creation. 

He sought at the same time to propagate the glacial theory, which 
still encountered in the ranks of French science a lively opposition ; 
but he discussed it only in private conversation. This subject did not 
excite much interest in the scientific public, who knew little of the 
mountains, and the heads of science entertained contrary ideas. 

This same year Agassiz, whose reputation was already far extended, 
was called to Boston, in America, by Mr. Lowell, director of the Lowell 
Institute, to give some lectures. He was also,, thanks to Humboldt, 
charged by the King of Prussia with a scientific commission in that 
country. He went to England in the summer of 1846, and sailed for 
Boston in the month of September. 

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Arrived in America, where his reputation had preceded him, he did 
not lack encouragement and support in that country, where great ideas 
80 easily find an enthusiastic public and generous protectors. The first 
of the lectures he gave in Boston was repeated eight times to an audi- 
ence always new and always eager to hear. The success of the sul)- 
sequent lectures was equal to that of the first. From the very outset 
the learned naturalist acquired great popularity. He was surrounded, 
feted, made much of, and was charmed by the zeal manifested on all 
sides for natural history. The first part of his sojourn was passed in 
giving single, and courses of lectures. Embryology and the glaciers 
were his most frequent subjects. 

After his debut at Boston he lectured successively at New York, 
Albany, New Haven, and Charleston, where he passed the winter of 
1847-^48. He at the same time determined to profit by the resources 
which surrounded him, and immediately commenced to make collections. 
Everything about him was new, and he had only to stretch out his hands 
in order to fill them. A generous American, Mr. Abbott Lawrence, 
convinced of the importance of retaining a man of such value in the 
country, offered in 1847 to create a chair for him of zoology and geology 
in Harvard College, Cambridge, if he would remain. Agassiz, who hafl 
come to the United States with very favorable anticipations, far sur- 
passed by the welcome he had received, did not hesitate to accept the 
proposition. He comprehended that his reputation would give him 
promptly a power and means of action which he could never acquire in 
Europe. Establishment in this country would also put an end to the 
rivalries, the cares of all sorts, to which he was a prey in Neuchatel. 
He would be able to consecrate to science his time and his strength 
without being obliged for want of money to restrict or retard his publi- 
cations. He abandoned, then, without regret the modest theater where 
he had first distinguished himself, and commenced an entirely new 
career, in which he was to find resources even beyond his brightest 

He took possession, upon his return from Charleston, of the chair of 
natural history, which had been offered to him. His dwelling was at Cam- 
bridge, in Oxford street. Count Frank de Pourtales, Professors Desor, 
Marcou, Guyot, Lesquereux, and his draughtsman, Burckanlt, who 
since his sojourn at Munich had always worked for him, now joined him. 
Several of these naturalists lived for some time with him. He received 
them bounteously, and aided them with his influence and his purse, at 
that time better filled than when he was in Neuchatel. Soon he sent 
for his son Alexander, whose taste for natural history was a great joy 
to him. He passed the first four months of the year 1849 at Philadel- 
phia, where he gave courses of lectures, and in the winter of 1849-'50 

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he married Miss Elizabeth Gary, of Boston, a lady of great intelligence, 
who became the inseparable companion of his travels and of his work. 

The exploration of America was a vast field opened to him, and he 
devoted to this work a very important part of his time. In 1848 ho un- 
dertook the charge of a scientific expedition to Lake Superior. Seven- 
teen persons started on this exploration in a country the geography 
and natural history of which were still very little known. The zoology, 
the botany, the general character of the country and the indigenous in- 
habitants, the influence even of the progress of civilization upon the 
aspect of the country-, upon the character of the fauna and of thejflora, 
all were observed, recorded, discussed ; nothing of importance escaped 
the eager and masteily eye of the chief of the expedition.* 

The history of the journey was made by Mr. Cabot; the shells, insects, 
and birds collected were studied by various collaborators. Agassiz de- 
voted especial attention to the general characteristics of the vegetation, 
in order that he might compare it with that of the Jura and the Alps; 
to the fishes, the study of which wherever he went always captivated 
him; to some now reptiles, and finally to the phenomena of erratic 
bowlders in this region, which his knowledge of the glacial district of 
Europe permitted him to prove belonged to a remarkable extension of 
the same system. 

The Americans have devoted for a long time especial attention to the 
study of the shores of their continent. The department of the govern- 
ment occupied with what is called the United States Coast Survey is 
now known all over the world on account of the great importance of 
the work it has accomplished. It united to a geographical knowl- 
edge of the coast a scientific study of the neighboring region, often 
pursued under great difficulties. Agassiz from the first was interested 
in this species of investigation. In 1850 he was commissioned by Dr. 
Bache, director of the sui'vey, to study the coral reefs of Florida. He 
examined upon the si)ot the development of the Polyp, which had cre- 
ated around this peninsula four concentric banks, the formation of 
which he found had been successive. According to the mode of increase 
of these animals, he could calculate safely within tbe limits of truth 
that these reefs had been at least thirty thousand years in forming. 
The outer reef, still in process of development, is constituted of the liv- 
ing coral. The animals belong to various types, each of which is limited 
to a certain depth beyond which it cannot exist. The deepest axe the 
Astrs&ans, next the Meandrines; at the surface are the Madrepores, not 
more than two or three yards below the surface of the water and cover- 
ing vast spaces with their beautiful growth. Other animals become 
attracted to the coral branches. The sea breaks ott* the coral and throws 
the firagments upon the reef, which is little by little covered with soil, 

•Louis Agassiz. "Lake Superior, its physical character, vegetation, and animola, 
compared with those of other aud similar regions. 1850.'' 

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and rises at last above the water. The winds then bring to it seeds, 
and plants are developed. Thus appears an island separated by a small 
lagoon from the mainland, to which it will soon be united. Florida has 
been entirely formed in this way by successive creations. The time 
required to produce this peninsula, according to Agassiz, must have 
been more than two hundred thousand years. 

At the same time that Agassiz undertook to direct these expeditions 
be desired to make known the results of his researches and the labors 
nndertaken in his laboratories. The great collections he amassed at- 
tracted his attention to all branches of the animal kingdom. The Ver- 
tebrates, the MoUusks, the Articulates, the Radiates, the relations of 
these branches to each other, their mode of api)earance and develop- 
ment, were for him an incessant source of new observations, i)ublished 
in numerous articles and memoirs. 

In 1857, he gave to the public the plan of a work to be called Con- 
tributions to the Natural History of the United States, The popularity of 
the professor was at that time so great that he immediately obtained 
more than 2,500 subscribers. Four volumes of this work appeared in 

The first monograph comprehended a complete study of the Chelo- 
nians, their anatomy, their distribution in the actual world and in geo- 
logical history, the description of American genera and species, and the 
embryology of the turtle. The second, in the preparation of which Mr. 
Clark rendered active assistance, is upon the Acalephs, which form with 
the Polyps and the Echinoderms the class Radiata; they are divided 
into Ctenophores, Discophores, and Siphonophores. Mr. Sonrel was the 
artist of the magnificent plates which accompanied these two volumes. 
A complete risumS of the ideas and the principles of Agassiz relative to 
the classification of the animal kingdom, serves as an introduction to 
these monographs. 

"In the beginning of this chapter,'' he writes, "I have already stated 
that classification seems to me to rest upon too narrow a foundation 
when it is chiefly based upon structure. Animals are linked together 
aa closely by their mode of development, by their relative standing in 
their respective classes, by the order in which they have made their 
appearance upon earth, by their geographical distribution, and gener- 
aUy by their connection with the world in which they live, as by their 
anatomy. All these relations should, therefore, be fully expressed in a 
natural classification; and though structure furnishes the most direct 
indication of some of these relations, always appreciable under every 

•Contributions to the Natural History of the United States; in quarto volumes, 
with unmerous plates. Volume I, Essay on Classification ; North American Testudi- 
uata. l-?o7. Volume II, Embryology of the Turtle. 1857. Volumes III and IV, 
Acalephs in general, Ctenophors, Discophorae, Hydroid», Homologies of the Radiata. 
1860-1832. The introduction to the first volume, "An Essay on Classification," was 
repablinhc^ under the author's direction^ at London, in 1859, in 1 vol. Svo., pp. 381. 

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circumstance, other considerations should not be neglected which may 
conjplete our insight into the general plan of creation.'' • 

In this point of view Agassiz had already perceived through his study 
of fossil fishes the importance of embryology. He had for the first time 
propounded the theory that the animals of our i>eriod in their embry- 
onic condition resemble the ancient representatives of the same type 
who lived in anterior geological ages. 

Chissification, based upon these considerations, will no longer be a 
system invented by such or such a naturalist, but will result strictly trom 
facts observed in nature. It will be proved, for example, that an insect 
in various degrees of its development resembles successively types of 
various classes of the branches of the Articulata, and that it assumes the 
character of a perfect insect only after it has achieved its metamorpho- 
sis. " When we study the gradual development of the insect • • • 
we have a simple, natural scale by which to estimate the comparative 
rank of these animals. Since we cannot suppose that there is a retro- 
grade movement in the development of any animal, we must believe 
that the insect stands highest (compared with Crustacea and other ar- 
ticulates), and our classification in this instance is dictated by nature 
herself." t 

" It may therefore be considered as a general fact, very likely to be 
more tuUy illustrated as investigations cover a wider ground, that the 
phases of embryonic development of all living animals correspond to the 
order of succession of their extinct representatives in past geological 
times. As far a& this goes the oldest representatives of every class may 
then be considered as embryonic types of their respective orders or fami- 
lies among the living.''} • 

The class of Echinoderms furnishes a remarkable example. It is thus 
that the embryonic phases of the European Comatula correspond with 
the principal forms of the Crinoids which characterize the successive 
geological i)eriods ; Oistoids of paleozoic rocks ; Platycrinoids of the car- 
boniferous period; Pentacrinoids of the freestone and the oolite. Anal- 
ogous facts are tbund in the families of the Asteroids and the Echinoids. 
The T'rilobites are the embryonic type of the Entomostracans ; the Deca- 
pods of the oolite that of our crabs ; the heterocercal Ganoids that of 
the Lepidistes. 

By the side of these embryonic types Agassiz recognized propheiic 
types. "Embryonic type^ exemplify only the peculiarities of develop- 
ment of the higher representatives of their own types; while prophetic 
tyi>es exemi)lity structural combinations observed at a later period in 
two or several distinct tyi>es.'' One of the most striking examples he 
cites is that of the sauroid fishes. "These fishes, which have preceded 
the appearance of reptiles, present a combination of ichthjic and reptilian 

*Au Essay ou Classilicatiou. Hvo., Loudon., laVJ. Cbap. i, sec. 32, pp. 205, 20tk 
t A journey in Brazil. Boston, 18G8, chap, i, p. 21. 
t Essay on Classiiication, chap, i, sec. 25, p. 174. 

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characters not to be found in the true members of this class, which fonn 
Its bulk at present." 

The succession of organized beings in the course of time should also 
serve a« a principle of classification. Thus hi arranging, as many bota- 
nists do, the Gymnosperms among the Dicotjiedons, we find no relation 
between the hierarchical series of the li\ing plants and their mode of 
appearance. If we make of the Gymnosi^erms an isolated group, inter- 
mediate between the Cryi)togams and the Angiosperms, a classification 
which corresponds with their principal characteristics, we find immedi- 
ately an intimate correlation between the hierarchal series of these 
plants, which commence with the Cryptogams and continue with the 
Gymnosperms, the Monocotyledons, and Dicotyledons, and their suc- 
cessive appearance. 

" 1 confess,'' said Agassiz, "that this question as to the nature and 
foundation of our scientific classifications appears to me to hjive the 
deepest imx)ortance ; an importance far greater, indeed, than is usually 
attached to it. If it can be proved that man has not invented but only 
traced this systematic arrangement in nature; that these relations and 
proportions which exist throughout the animsd and vegetable world have 
an intellectual, an ideal, connection in the mind of the Creator ; that this 
plan of creation, which so commends itself to our highest wisdom, has 
not grown out of the necessary action of physical laws, but was the free 
conception of the Almighty Intellect, matured in His thought before it 
was manifested in tangible external forms ; if, in short, we can prove 
pre^neditation prior to the act of creation, we have done once and forever 
with the desolate theory which refers us to the laws of matter as account- 
ing for all the wonders of the universe, and leaves us with no God but 
the monotonous unvarying action of physical forces, binding all things 
to their inevitable destiny. • • • 

" To me it appears indisputable that this order and arrangement of 
our studies are based ujwn the natural primitive relations of animal 
life ; those systems to which we have given the names of the great lead- 
ers of our science who first projwsed them, being in truth but transla- 
tions into human language of the thoughts of the Creator. And if this 
is indeed so, do we not find in this adaptability of the human intellect to 
the facts of creation, by which we become instinctively and — as I have 
said — unconsciously the translators of the thoughts of God, the most 
conclusive proof of our aflftnity with the Divine mind ! And is not this 
intellectual and spiritual connection with the Almighty worthy of our 
deei>est consideration ? If there is any truth in the belief that man is 
made in the image of God, it is surely not amiss for the philosopher to 
endeavor by the study of his own mental oi)erations to comprehend the 
workings of the Divine Reason, learning from the nature of his own mind 
better to understand the Infinite Intellect from which it is derived.'^t 

*E8say ou classification. Chap, i, sec. 26, p. 177. 

t Essay on Classification, chap, i^ sec. 1, pp. 10 and 9. 

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I have given this long quotation, because it shows clearly the elevated 
philosophical and religious i)oint of view from which Agassiz regarded 
the history of creation. 

It is seen by the examples given what importance he attached to pa- 
leontology. He endeavored to show that from the ancient geological 
periods the number and diversity of animated beings was as great as it 
is to-day. Certain rocks are formed entirely of the dSbris of organized 
beings. The coral reefs of the tertiary, secondary, and even primary 
periods are in no wise inferior to the present reefs.* The coal-beds of 
the carboniferous period exhibit a vegetation richer than our ti'opical 
flora. These myriads of beings which have ceased to exist he regarded 
as the manifestation of the divine thought, which regulated their mode 
of appearance and succession. "There were at various intervals during 
the successive geological ages periods of creation, all the species of ani- 
mals and of plants created at each period having lasted for a given time 
in order to be replaced successively by others." Tlie present creation is, 
according to his view, one of these phases, and he believed that all the 
animals in it appeared simultaneously. 

Agassiz always remained faithful to this theory, which had many mA- 
herents at the time he advocated it. Science has made great advances 
since that period. The progress of paleontology, to which he contrib- 
uted so largely, as well as that of zoological and botanical geography, 
demonstrates by the fullest evidence that the animated world which 
peoples the surface of the globe could not have issued complete and 
simultaneously from the hands of the Creator, for in the midst of new 
types there exist offshoots from numerous groups, whose great develop- 
ment took place in the anterior geological i)eriods, while other types 
have acquired in the present epoch a force and extension they never had 
before, although their successive increase was indicated in the later 
geological periods. The present ferns are only the rq[)re8entatives, 
greatly diminished in size, of that large group of Cryptogams which at 
the carboniferous period clothed the entire world with their colossal veg- 
etation, and which since then have been constantly diminishing. 

The traveler who encounters isolated in the mountains of China the 
singular conifer called the (}inho hiloha will not hesitate to consider this 
type, unique in the present creation, as the last descendant of the Oinho 
which, at the secondary period, covered with a great number of species 
all the ancient continent. The zoologist who finds in the rivers of 
Australia the Lepidosteus osseus, the last representative not only of a 
genus but of an entire order of fishes, that of the Ganoids, cannot fail to 
recognize in this type the remains of an extinct race. The Marsupials 
of the same country, the Edentates of South America, and a hundred 
other examples furnish us to day- with the proof that the actual world 
is only the regular normal continuation of anterior periods. In spite of 
the embryological theories of which Agassiz was the author, and which it 

^American Journal of Science, 1654, vol. xvu, pp. 809-324. 

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would seem must necessarily have led him to the idea of evolution, he 
always remained an absolute partisan of the hypothesis of successive 
creations, and he may be regarded as the chief of the opposition to the 
theory of development. 

The fact that the most distinct tyi)es exist simultaneously in identical 
circumstances, and that we find identical types in the most different cir- 
cumstances, the entire development of the animal kingdom, the harmony 
in its most diverse parts, its present and past distribution upon the con- 
tinents and in the sea, Aimished him unceasingly with new arguments to 
combat this theory and to defend that of the individuality and the con- 
stancy of species. 

If it is evident that the flora and fauna are renewed a great number of 
times on the surface of the globe, it has never been proved, according 
to him, that the species were changed during one of those periods. 
The observations made of the times in which we live, indicate that they 
remained invariable during each period. This is demonstrated by the 
plants and animals found in the tombs of Egypt and the fauna of the 
coral reefs of Florida. Daily discoveries contradict strongly the opinion 
that inferior beings first appeared upon the earth, and that types more 
and more elevated were manifested until the advent of man. On the 
contrary, representatives of numerous families of the four great branches 
of the animal kingdom. Radiates, Mollusks, Articulates, and Vertebrates, 
lived simultaneously from the most ancient periods. The Vertebrates 
alone have not yet been found in the first deposits, but they appeared 
in immense numbers before the end of the first period. These branches, 
which manifest in their structure a complete independence, have tra- 
versed side by side all the series of geological ages up to the present 
time. The first three are even represented from the beginning by nu- 
merous tyi)es of their different classes, and the character of the branches 
of the classes of the families have always been as distinct as to-day. 
" Until the facts of nature are shown to have been mistaken by those 
who have collected them,'' said Agassiz, "and that they have a different 
meaning from that now generally assigned to them, I shall consider the 
transmutation theory as a scientific mistake, untrue in its facts, unsci- 
entific in its method, and mischievous in its tendency."* ^ 

Agassiz preferred greatly direct observation of nature to theoretic 
research, and he found more than any other naturalist opportunities for 
this study in his numerous voyages and in the immense material he 
collected. In a country so rich, so varied in climate and conditions, and 
also so new, his collections rapidly accumulated ; he sold them in 1852 
to Harvard College. A building which had been put up to receive them 
proved to be too small. The University of Cambridge, aided by a pub- 
lic subscription and by the State of Massachusetts, caused to be erected 
the first wing of a large edifice, which was to bear the name of the Mu- 
seum of Comparative Zoology. Mr. Fr. C. Gray bequeathed $50,000 to 

• On the Origin of Sx>ecie8. Am. Journal of Science. 1860. Vol. xxx, p. 154. , 

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found this establishment. The first stone was laid on the 14th of June, 
1859, and in December of the same year the building was sufficiently 
advanced to commence the installation of the collections. 

From that time Agassis had but one aim, the increase and organiza- 
tion of this museum. "His activity, researches, diplomacy, resources," 
wrote to us one of his friends who saw him at work, "are something 
prodigious. He spared nothing where his museum was concerned, gave 
public lectures, resorted to all kinds of devices to promote its interests: 
he put under contribution all his friends and acquaintances ; he spoke of 
nothing, saw nothing, but his museum; it became his one idea." The 
gifts of natural objects and of money poured in from all sides. The State 
and private individuals rivaled each other in generous assistance of this 
great work which Agassiz had succeeded in making a national affiedr, 
and in a few years the pecuniary subsidies amounted to the sum of 
$470,000. During the years 1872 and 1873 alone the museum received 
besides its annual supplies gifts equal to about $170,000. 

The vast learning of Agassiz, his amiability, his benevolence, his afEia>- 
ble gaiety, his enthusiasm for everything relating to science, and his 
personal disinterestedness, everywhere created for him friends who con- 
tributed to the increase of his museum. Fever had any one so many. 
His language, winning and often rising even in English to true eloquence, 
captivated his audiences and attracted the crowds he loved to teach. 
He was in communication with all the sea-captains, who made collections 
for him in their distant expeditions. When he was on a voyage every- 
body was at his disposal, and more than once the inhabitants of the dis- 
tant countries he visited made journeys of considerable extent in order to 
procure some rare animals for him only for the pleasure of seeing his 
joy, his astonishment, and his gratitude, which were always very wMmly 
and openly expressed. 

All parts of America were explored. The Emperor of Brazil, whose 
interest in science has never flagged, sent him rich collections. The 
soundings made along the coast of America by the United States Coast 
Survey, under the direction of Mr. de Pourtal^s, and especially the voy- 
age to the valley of the Amazon and the expedition of the Hassler, added 
greatly to these zoological treasures. In 1863, that is to say, before the 
expedition to Brazil, the museum already contained 6,000 species of fish, 
represented by 100,000 specimens. It is not, like most collections of 
natural history, a mass of material disposed in a purely zoological order. 
Its organization is based upon the principles of classification we have 
described ; and we find in it several distinct series. In the first the 
animals are classed in such a manner that one can study their natural 
associations, their zoological relations, the general characteristics of the 
genera and of the classes, their skeletons, and other anatomical pecul- 
iarities. A second series represents the founa of each region, the geo- 
graphical distribution of living beings upon the surface of the globe and 
their various associations, upon each continent. The fossil animals are 

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arrangred so as to show at the same time their order of succession in the 
different epochs and their relation with the existing animals. This 
plan is completed by a third series devoted to the study of the various 
• phases of development of animals from the embryonic to the adult con- 
dition. This museum, then, is destined to be an exposition of the history 
of creation, as complete as it is i)Ossible for it to be under the present state 
of onr knowledge. Its organization absorbed more and more the time 
and energy of Agassiz. No other scientific establishment has aspired 
to a similar undertaking. 

When it came to the recent creation, it increased so rapidly that in 
1872, in his last report of the progress of the establishment, Agassiz 
could say that he was "in possession of the most beautiful collections 
in the world, not excepting the oldest and largest museums of Europe." 
What increased still more their value, was the zoological and paleon- 
tological labors to which these collections gave rise. Naturalists of great 
distinction, Mr. Alexander Agassiz, our compatriots Messrs. Alexander 
de Pourtal^s, Lesquereux, and some American scientists, Messrs. Lyman, 
Hyatt, Ac, described these treasures in works illustrated with magnifi- 
cent plates. 

A voyage which Agassiz made to Europe in 1859 interrupted for 
some time his incessant occupations. He was not forgotten in the Old 
World, the scene of his first successes. The most brilliant offers were in 
several instances made to him to induce him to remain, but he had in 
America too many resources of all kinds to make him able or willing to 
abandon his adopted country ; his only ambition was for science, and 
he always continued faithful to the direction of his museum. He was 
naturalized as an American citizen in 1862. 

The numerous labors he directed at last affected his robust health. 
During the winter of 1864-^65 the physicians ordered absolute repose 
and a change of climate. But this rest proved to be as profitable to 
science as the continuations of the works he had undertaken. After 
some hesitation Brazil was selected as the destination of his voyage. 
He had been for a long time attracted toward this country, to which 
his first zoological researches had turned his attention. " Toward Brazil 
I was drawn by a life- long desire. After the death of Spix, when a 
student of twenty years of age, I had been employed by Martins to 
describe the fishes they had brought back with them from their celebrated 
Brazilian journey. From that time, the wish to study this fauna in the 
regions where it belongs had been an ever-recurring thought with me; a 
scheme deferred for want of opportunity, but never quite forgotten."* 

In order to render this voyage of real use, in order that he might not 
return to the United States " rich in pleasant memories but without any 
scientific results,'' resources were necessary far beyond those required 
for his personal expenses. Here, as on so many other occasions of his 
life, bountiful means were voluntarily provided. Mr. Nathaniel Thayer 

• A journey in BraziL (Preface, p. v.) ^ , 

8. Mis. 59 17 Digitized by dooglc 


oflfered to defiray the exi)en8e8 of the expedition, and authorized him to 
take with him, as assistants, six naturalists. The Emperor of Brazil, 
the Secretary of the Navy of the United States, the president of the 
Pacific Mail Steamship Company, each contributed in large measure to 
the success of this expedition, which had been joined by some distin- 
guished naturalists as voluntary recruits. On the 1st of April, 1865, 
Agassiz embarked) taking with him Mrs. Agassiz, who kept the journal ; 
her husband communicated to her the scientific results as they were ob- 
tained, and thus was composed the book known und6r the name of ^'A 
Journey to Brazil'' We refer to this volume any of our readers who 
desire to follow the American savans along the borders of the Amazou 
and explore with them the vast basin they undertook to study. 

Agassiz, during this voyage, made immense collections. These have 
already been, in part, studied and described, and will give rise to works 
which will make better known to us the fauna of the extraordinary re- 
gion. He observed, also, many general facts of natural history. The 
account of the expedition manifests the great talent he possessed of 
noting every peculiarity offered to his observation in the zoological 
character of the animals he discovered, in the ichthyological fauna of the 
Amazon, in the geographical distribution of the terrestrial and aquatic 
animals, and in the physical and geological characteristics of the great 
valley he traversed. 

One of the points which fixed his attention and to which he constantly 
refers in the history of the voyage, is the nature and the distribution of 
the drift of this region. This deposit, which is of great thickness and 
immense extent, for it is estimated to be some thousand miles in lengtli 
and six or seven hundred in width, could not have been formed by the 
sea, since there were no traces found of marine shells. It is, then, a fresh- 
water deposit. If a lake had occupied this vast space the basin must 
have been closed; otherwise, this material would have been carried into 
the sea. Agassiz attributed this phenomenon to the ancient extension 
of the glaciers. An immense glacier, according to him, descended from 
the Cordilleras, augmented by tributaries from Guiana and from Brazil, 
and covered the valley of the Amazon. It accumulated at its lower 
edge a moraine of colossal dimensions, forming thus a gigantic embank- 
ment, which bars the mouth of the basin. 

It is true that polished and scratched surfaces are not found; the 
rocks are too soft to have retained such traces, but the rounded rocks 
Agassiz observed in some localities, the blocks of the Erer6, the nature 
of tbe deposit in the valley, the character of which is analogous to that 
of the material accumulated under the glaciers ; the resemblance of the 
upper formation of this country to the drift of Eio, the glacial origin 
of which seemed to him beyond a doubt; the fact that the basin of 
fresh Avater must have been closed on the side of the ocean by a power- 
ful barrier, appeared to him sufficient arguments to establish the exist- 
ence of this j^Lu^ial period. Later there was a rupture in the exterior 

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embankment; the lake was emptied, while the moraine, beaten by the 
sea and carried away by the flowing waters, disappeared, as was also 
the case in great part with the ground upon which it rested; for the 
violence and the rapidity with which the sea eats into the shores of this 
region is extreme, and a strip of hundreds of miles in width has already 
been carried away. • 

Such is, in a few words, the theory of Agassiz of the ancient glaciers 
of BraziL This is not the place to discuss its claims ; it was attacked 
(HI all sides, and has now few defenders. 

In his latter years Agassiz, overburdened with his occupations, aban- 
doned special research; the organization of his museum, his public 
courses of lectures, his immense correspondence, were too much for his 
strength, and his health gradually failed. In 1869 he became seriously 
ill. He had hardly recovered before he was at work again. He accom- 
panied Count Pourtal^s on one of the expeditions this zoologist made 
in the year 1867, to study the submarine relief, the currents, and the 
marine &una of the coasts of America. These explorations, in which 
each sounding gave rise, so to speak, to a discovery, captivated him ex- 
tremely, and he soon conceived the idea of extending this kind of re- 
search. In 1871 he joined an expedition organized by the Government 
of the United States for the exploration of the shores of America, the 
study of the Gulf Stream, the temperature of the water, and the marine 
animals. He sailed in the Hassler, and visited in this vessel the sea of 
the Antilles and the shores of America as far as San Francisco, doubling 
Gape Horn. A letter he wrote to Professor Pierce before starting, in 
which he set forth the results he hoped to obtain, drew upqn this expe- 
dition the attention of all the scientific world. He hoped to find li^ing 
at the bottom of the sea a large number of the types known only by fossil 
representatives, and thus connect the actual with anterior creations. 

Soundings were made at first at great depths, but the apparatus was 
in a bad condition, and on the coast of Chili this kind of research had 
to be abandoned. Agassiz contented himself with the coast animals and 
the fishes, which he collected by thousands. In every port the deck of 
the vessel was covered with animals brought by the natives. The sin- 
gular fauna of the Gallapagos Islands were collected with the greatest 
care, and Agassiz was able, among others, to procure numerous sheUs 
of two species of reptiles of the genus AmblyrynchuSy the structure of 
which recalled that of these animals in the secondary period. Some idea 
may be formed of the collections made in this voyage, by the fact that 
the quantity of alcohol used to preserve the animals was about 3,500 gal- 
lons. He came back to Cambridge by the Pacific Bailroad. 

Immediately on his return he formed the project of establishing on the 
sea-shore a school for zoological reseai'ch. As soon as the idea was con- 
ceived, an American, Mr. Anderson, gave him in 1871 a small island in 
Buzzard's Bay, the island of Penikese, and a considerable sum to assist 

* Joamey in Brazil| Chap, xiii, pp. 419-436 ; Atlantic Monthly, 1866, pp. 49, 150. j 

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in carrying out his design. The illustrious naturalist immediately prof- 
ited by these resources. He constructed large laboratories provided 
with aquaria and other arrangements necessary for this kind of research. 
The upper story of the building contained fifty-eight rooms for the lodg- 
ing of the naturalists. Every effort was made to hasten the execution 
of the plan. The consequent increase of fatigue exhausted him. On 
the 2d of December, 1873, he gave a public address to the Agricultural 
Association of Massachusetts. He was in his laboratory for several 
days after, but was attacked on the 6th of December by weakness, which 
forced him to return home. He went to his bed, which he never left 
again, and expired on the 14th of December of a paralysis of the organs 
of respiration. 

The Academy of Sciences, of Paris, had a few months before nomi- 
nated him foreign associate member. 

" For a long time,'' wrote Professor Silliman, who had been one of his 
best friends since his arrival in the country, "have we dreaded the sad 
event which we now record. For many years the splendid physique of 
Agassiz manifested signs that his prodigious labors were overcoming 
his elasticity. His herculean strength, which made fatigue of body 
or mind unknown to him, yielded to the severer tax of the American 
climate and the Incessant growing demands upon him from every source. 
His life and strength were renewed by his long voyage to San Francisco 
in the Hassler; but both he and his friends recognized the fact that to 
labor with his former activity was impossible and forbidden. Yet to live, 
was for him unavoidably to labor ; and to die in the harness rather than 
to live after, the power to serve his fellow-men was passed — ^his aspira- 

The death of the f^'eat naturalist, to whom this noble sentiment could 
be justly attributed, was a national calamity. An immense cortege 
formed by deputations from several cities, the Vice-President of tlie 
United States, the authorities of the State of Massachusetts, delegates 
from universities, academies, and learned societies, his numerous pupils 
and assistants, and a large concourse of citizens accompanied Agassiz 
to his last home. 

A bowlder from the glacier of the Aar, upon which is engraved his 
name, serves as a monument to him and recalls to those who visit it 
his native country and one of the great interests of his life. 

The prodigious capacity of Agassiz, his exceptional talent for observa- 
tion, the facility with which he made himself familiar with all questions 
and with which he attacked the most diverse subjects, the great intel- 
lectual movement he developed wherever he lived, the value of his own 
researches, have made his name one of the greatest in contemporary 
science. He has been the object, both while living and even after his 
death, of violent and sometimes coarse attacks ; calumny has not spared 
him. But in every case it is not he who has been most injured. Un- 

'Amer. Jour. Science, 1674, voL vii, p. 80. 

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doubtedly, several of the ideas he put in circulation have been dropped, 
several of his theories have been abandoned, but the discussions they 
produced have been a firuitful source of progress. The temple of knowl- 
edge is not raised by a single effort, and it is the clashing of ideas which 
produces light. The work he executed in the field of zoology and of paleon- 
tology is of very high importance. He possessed the double merit of 
accomplishing great things himself, and of knowing how to make science 
popular without diminishing its prestige. Everywhere he found friends 
and supporters. In Switzerland, in Germany, in England, in America, 
in every country where he took up his abode he made himself the center 
of the -scientific movement and succeeded in interesting the public. His 
sojourn in Nench^tel excited in that city an impulse the happy influ- 
ence of which is felt even to this day. Although when he first went 
to the United States there existed scientific culture in that country, and 
many distinguished observers, to Agassiz must be attributed the diffu- 
sion of a new enthusiasm for the sciences and much of the success with 
which they are now cultivated. This result is not due to chance, but to 
the noble and legitimate influence exercised by the superior inteUigence 
of the savant, and the amiable qualities of the man. 

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Bt William B. Taylor. 

" Yet though thy purer spirit did not need 
The vulgar guerdon of a brief renown, 

Some little meed at least — some little meed 
Our age may yield to thy more lasting crown." 

In the impulsive tide of popular applause which follows the consnm- 
matiou of great euterprises, or the material advancement fix>m new con- 
quests of natural law, the labors and merits of those who patiently laid 
the deep and broad foundations of these successes, or who with rarest 
diligence, sagacity, and skill, made such successes practicable, are usu- 
ally whelmed; and — save by the scientific student, are mostly forgotten 
and ignored. And this result is the more assured by reason of the en- 
tire self-unconsciousness and devotion with which the higher work of 
original research is conducted, with no disturbing thought on the part 
of the investigator, of reaping immediate advantage or reward from the 
bestowal of the new discovery. 

** For praise is his who builds for his own age ; 
But he who builds for time, must look to time for wage."* 

That the award of time respecting Henry's true relation to the tele- 
graph will be discriminating and just, may be confidently anticipated, 
since the materials and data for an accurate judgment are already matter 
of enduring record, t In attempting here to briefly review this record, 
justice will best be done to Henry's £eune by rendering full justice to 
Henry's predecessors. 

The Orowth of the Electric Telegraph. — " The electric telegraph had 
properly speaking, no inventor. It grew up little by little, each inventor 
adding his little to advance it toward perfection."! These words of 
soberness and truth are little apprehended by the multitude; who blind 
alike to the beginnings and to the growths of great ideas, contemn the 

• Prof. Grant Allen^ " 

tin the spirit of Kepler (though with less of self-assertion), Henry, with a modest esti- 
mate of his own contributions to science, while evincing a remarkable indifference to 
popularity, yet with the quiet confidence of a clear and impartial Judgment, declared 
** I was content that my published researches should remain as material for the his- 
tory of science, and be pronomiced upon according to their true value by the scientific 
world." — (SmithHonian Report for 1857, p. 87.) 

t The Electric Telegraphs By Robert Sabine. 8vo. London, 1867, part i, chap, ir, 
sect. 39, p. 40. 

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Lomond, a very ingenious and inventive mechanic, who has made an 
improvement of the jenny for spinning cotton. In electricity he has 
made a remarkable discovery. You write two or three words on a paper ; 
he takes it with him into a room, and turns a machine inclosed in a cylin- 
drical case, at the top of which is an electrometer, — a small fine pith ball ; 
a wire connects with a similar cylinder and electrometer in a distant 
apartment ; and his wife by remarking the corresponding motions of 
the ball, writes down the words they indicate. From which it appears 
that he has formed an alphabet of motions. As the length of the wire 
makes uo difference in the effect, a correspondence might be carried on 
at any distance." • 

1794. M. Eeiser, at Geneva, arranged a line of 36 insulated wires, 
each separately connected at the receiving-station with a small grat- 
ing of narrow tin-foil strips pasted on glass, from which a letter or 
figure had been cut, so as to represent the character by the passage of 
the electric spark over the series of narrow spaces. On a square plate 
were fiastened 36 of these independent gratings, representing the 26 let- 
ters and 10 numerals. "The instant the discharge is made through the 
wire, the spark is seen simultaneously at each of the interruptions or 
breaks of the tin-foil constituting the letter, and the whole letter is 
rendered visible at once." The sparks were transmitted through the 
selected wire and its corresponding symbol from a small electrical ma- 
chine kept in operation at the sending station.! 

1795. Tiberius Cavallo, in, England, experimented with electric signals 
of various kinds (explosive and otherwise) through a long and tolerably 
fine copper wire (about the fortieth of an inch in diameter) insulated by 
successive coatings of pitch, linen strips, woolen cloth, and oil painting. 
He found a Leyden jar of about one square foot, sufficient for the re- 
quired electric spark, if the length of the wire did not exceed 200 feet. 
He remarks: "By sending a number of sparks at different inter- 
vals of time according to a settled plan, any sort of intelligence might 
be conveyed instantaneously from the place in which the phial is sit- 
uate. With respect to the greatest distance to which such communi- 
cation might be extended, I can only say that I never tried the experi- 
ment with a wire of communication longer than about 250 feet ; but from 
the results of those experiments, and from the analogy of other facts, I 
am led to believe that the above-mentioned sort of communication might 
be extended to two or three miles, and probably to a much greater dis- 

• TraveU during the years 1787, 1788, and 1789, in the Eintjdom of France. By Arthur 
YonDg. 2 vols. 8vo. Dublin, 1793, vol. i, p. 135. Of tho work as republished in Pink- 
erton^s Collection of Voyages and TravelSj 4to. London, 1809, vol. iv, p. i:^. 

tVoigt'fl Magazin, etc. 1794, vol. ix, part 1, p. 183; also Moigno's T^igraphie 
Blectriqae^ pfart ii, chap. 1, p. 61. 

XA Complete Treatise on Electricity, in 3 vols. 8vo. London, 1795; vol. iii, note No. 
vlii, pp. 295, 296. The first two volumes of this work had passed through three earlier 

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1798. D. F. Salva, in Spain, appears to have sncgessftilly worked an 
electric telegraph through the unprecedented distance of twenty-six 
miles. "The Madrid Oazette of November 25, 1796, states that the 
Prince de la Paix, having heard that M. D. F. Salva had read to the 
Academy of Sciences a memoir upon the application of electricity to tele- 
graphing, and presented at the same time an electric telegraph of his 
own invention, desired to examine it; when being delighted with the 
promptness and facility with which it worked, he presented it before the 
king and court, operating it himself. Some useftil trials were made and 
published in Voigfs Magazine. Two years after, the Infanta Don Anto- 
nio coDstructed a telegraph of great extent on a large scale, by which 
the young prince was informed at night of newrs in which he was much 
interested. He also invited and entertained Salva at court. According 
to Humboldt, a telegraph of this description was established in 1798, 
from Madrid to Aranjuez, a distance of 26 miles."* 

1816. Francis Eonalds constructed at Hammersmith, England, an 
experimental telegraph line of a single wire, operated by an electrical 
machine, or small Leyden jar. " He proved the practicability of such a 
scheme by insulating eight miles of wire on his lawn at Hammersmith. 
In this case the wire was insulated in the air by silk strings. . . . 
Mr. Eonalds fixed a circular brass plate upon the seconds arbor of a 
clock which beat dead seconds. This plate was divided into twenty 
equal parts, each division being worked by a figure, a letter, and a pre- 
paratory sign. The figures were divided into two series of the units, 
and the letters were arranged alphabetically, omitting j, Q, v, w, x, 
and z. In front of this was fixed another brass plate (which could be 
occasionally turned round by hand), and which had an aperture that 
would just exhibit one of the figures, letters, and preparatory signs. In 
front of this plate was suspended a pith-ball electrometer from a wire 
which was insulated and which communicr^ted on one side with a glass 
cylinder machine. At the farther end of the wire was an apparatus 
exactly the same as the one now described, and the clocks were ad- 
justed to as perfect synchronism as possible. Hence it is manifest that 
when the wire was charged by the machine at either end, the electro- 
meters at both ends diverged, and when it was discharged they collapsed 
at the same instant; consequently if it was discharged at the moment 
when a given letter, figure, and sign on the plate appeared through 
the aperture, the same letter, figure, and sign would appear also at the 

• Tht Electro- Mafffietic Telegraphy by Laurence Timibnll, 8vo. 2d ed. Pliilada. 1653, 
pp. 21, 22. Voigt's Mafiazin, etc. vol. xi, pait 4. The same telefirapliic feat is attrib- 
uted to B^tanconrt.. ** Gauss makes mention of a cownniuicatiou ironi Hmnboldt, 
acconling to which B6tancourt, in 171)8, established a coinmuuicatiou between Madrid 
and Aranjuez, a distance of 2G miles, by means of a wire through which a Leyden jar 
used to be dischargetl, which was intended to be used as a telegraphic signal." (Stur- 
geou's Annals of Electricity ^ etc. March, 18:W, vol. iii, p. 446.) This is probably a wis- 
apprehension; as Augustine B^tancourt (more correctly Bethencourt), a Spanish euei- 
peer, in 1798, devised and exhibited to the National Institute an improvement in tlie 
mechanical semaphore. {BTewatei'ti Edinburgh Encyclopadiay 1830, art. "Telegrapb/ 
vol. xviii, p. 535.) 

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other clock; so that by means of sach discharges at one station, and 
by marking down the letters, figures, and signs seen at the other, any 
required words could be spelf* 

" He also made the trial with 625 feet of buried wire. With this view he 
dug a trench four leet deep, in which he laid a trough of wood two inches 
square, well lined both within and without with pitch ; and within this 
trough were placed thick glass tubes through which the wire ran. The 
junction of the glass tubes was surrounded with short and wider tubes of 
glass, the ends of which were sealed up with soft wax.'^ This form of 
conductor was not found to operate very satisfactorily, and the inventor 
on theoretical grounds did not think such an arrangement adapted to 
the instantaneous electrical transmission required by his system. 

^r. Eonalds, in 1823, published a full account of his telegraph, t In 
1871, very nearly half a century later, as Sir Francis Bonalds, he pub- 
lished a new edition of this interesting work ; and a review of it in 
** Nature'' gives this presentation of the scheme : " Sir Francis, before 
1823, sent intelligible messages through more than eight miles of wire 
insulated and suspended in the air. His elementary signal was the di- 
vergence of the pith-balls of a Canton's electrometer, produced by the 
communication of a statical charge to the wire. He used synchronous 
rotation of lettered dials at each end of the line, and charged the wire 
at the sending end whenever the letter to be indicated passed an open- 
ing provided in a cover ; the electrometer at the far end then diverged, 
and thus informed the receiver of the message which letter was desig- 
nated by the sender. The dials never stopped, and any slight want of 
synchronism was corrected by moving the cover."} 

This very ingenious device of synchronous rotation at the opposite 
stations presents the earliest example of a dial telegraph, or of a letter 
indicator employing but a single wire. About forty years later, or in 
1855, this system was successMly applied by Mr. David E. Hughes^ of 
Kentucky, to a letter-printing telegraph of remarkable rapidity and ac- 
curacy. § 

1828. " Harrison Gray Dyar, an American, constructed a telegraph 
in 1827-'28, at the race-course on Long Island, and supported his wires 
by glass insulators fixed on trees and poles. By means of common elec- 
tricity acting upon litmus pai)er he produced a red mark. The difference 
of time between the sparks indicated different letters arranged in an ar- 

"EncychpcBdia Bntannioa, 7th ed. 1842, vol. viii, p. G62.— 8th ed. 1854, vol. viii, p. 627. 

i Descriptions of an Electrical Telegraph; and some other Electrical Apparatus, By 
Francis Ronalds. 8vo. London, 1823. 

t Nature. London, Nov. 23, 1871, voL v, p. 59. 

$A second type of dial telegraph was invented by Prof. Charles Wheatstone in 
1839, in which the dial (or index) was rotated step by step by means of sao oeMlv e 
impniijes of the current on au electro-magnet, which operated a toothed esor" * 

on the axis of the dial or index ; — the indicated letter or fignre being stopp^ 
as desired. In this case, the character was determined solely by the 
electric impulses transmitted. This system was in 1846, made the basil 
original letter-printing telegraph, by Mr. Royal E. HousOi of Vennont ; p 
of Mr. Hughes, as wifl be <m^ed| nearly ten years. ^ j 

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bitrary alphabet, and the paper was moved by the hand." ♦ Mr. Dyar 
is described by Dr. Luther V. Bell as "a man of the highest inventive 
skill and scientific attainments.'' His experimental line (of a single wire) 
was several miles long ; and the chemical record of the signals transmitted 
through it, was by the testimony of those who witnessed its oi>eratioD8, 
eminently distinct and satisfactory. The following is the account of his 
enterprise, given by the inventor himself in 1849, some twenty years after- 

" I invented a plan of a telegraph which should be independent of day 
or night or weather, which should extend from town to town or city to 
city, without any intermediary agency, by means of an insulated wire 
in tiie air, suspended on poles, and through which wire I intended to 
send strokes of electricity in such a manner as that the diverse distances 
of time separating the divers sparks should represent the different letters 
of the alphabet and stops between the words, etc. This absolute or this 
relative difference of time between the several sparks I intended to take 
off from an electric machine by a little mechanical contrivance regulated 
by a pendulum, and the sparks were intended to be recorded upon a 
moving or a revolving sheet of moistened litmus paper, which by the forma- 
tion of nitric acid by the spark in the air in its passsage through tlie 
paper, would leave a red spot for each spark on this blue test-paper. 
... To carry out my invention I associated myself with a Mr. 
Brown, of Providence, who gave me certain sums of money to become 
associated with me in the invention. We employed a Mr Connel, of New 
York, to aid in getting the capital wanted to carry the wires to Phila- 
delphia. This we considered as accomplished : but before beginning upon 
the long wire, it was decided that we should try some miles of it on Lon^ 
Island. Accordingly I obtained some fine card mre, intending to ran 
it several times around the nice-course on the Island. We put up this 
wire (that is, Mr. Brown and myself) at different lengths, in curves and 
straight lines, by suspending it from stake to stake and tree to tree un- 
til we concluded that our experiments justified our undertaking to carry- 
it from New York to Philadelphia. At this moment our agent brought 
a suit or summons against me for 20,000 dollars for agencies and services, 
which I found was done to extort a concession of a share of the whole 
project" Failing in this prosecution, the unprincipled agent obtained 
a writ against the two partners on a charge of conspiracy to carry on 
secret communication between the cities! and he thus effectually put an 
end to the enterprise, without the formality of a judicial trial on this 
novel accusation, t 

These practical illustrations of early electric telegraphy, including 
successful workings of both the dial and the chemical forms of the tele- 
graph Avithout the use of galvanism, serve to show that the agency is by 

^Turabiiira Elecb'o-Magnetio Telegraph, 8vo. Philadelphia, Isted. 1852, p. 6j 2ded. 
1853, p. 22. 
t Prescott's Hist Eleotr, Telegraph, 1860, chap, xxi, pp. 427, 428. 

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no means the trivial and inefficient one so often represented by modern 
writers. On the contrary, but for the practical difficulty of perfect and 
constant insulation, owing to the intense self repulsion of mechanical 
electricity and the reaction and retardation from induction currents in 
long lines of coated wire, this method would really constitute an eco- 
nomical and satisfaetoiy medium of distant communication. 

Steinheil in reference to this subject remarks : "All these experiments 
put it beyond a doubt that Mctional electricity may be employed for 
giving signals at any distances, and that when these signals are properly 
contrived they offer convenient means of telegraphic intercourse. Fric- 
tional electricity has besides as Gauss has already observed, the great 
advantage of not losing any of its force by increasing the length of the 
conducting wire, inasmuch as the whole of the electricity of one coating 
of the jar must traverse the entire length of the wire (be it what it may) 
to neutralize that of the other coating.'* ♦ 


The introduction of the galvanic battery by Volta at the commence- 
ment of the present century t led many to experiment with its peculiar 
current as a means of telegraphing. The only practicable forms of 
simple galvanic telegraphs, are those whose indications are given by 
chemical decompositions, and which thus form the class commonly known 
as the " electro-chemical " 5 and as these chemical indications usually leave 
permanent markings, the class is also one of recording telegraphs. 

1808. Dr. Samuel Thomas von Soemmering, of Munich, appears to 
have been the first to apply Volta's invention to this purpose. "As long 
ago as in 1807, Soemmering erected in the apartments of the Academy 
of Sciences at Munich a galvanic telegraph, of which he has pub- 
lished a detailed description in the Philosophical Transactions of Ba- 
varia. [Munchner Denhtchriften der Koniglichen AJcademie der Wis- 
senschaften fur 1809, 1810. Math. phys. Classe, p. 401.] He em- 
ployed the energy of a powerful voltaic pile to bring about the 
decomposition of water by means of thirty-flve gold pins immersed in 
an oblong glass trough.'^{ Each of these gilt electrodes was in con- 
nection with one of the thirty-five wires forming the line, and was cov- 
ered with an inverted test-tube filled with water, resting on a submerged 
shelf in the oblong trough, as a gas-receiver. These small receivers 
with their inclosed gilt pins or electrodes arranged in a row, repre- 
sented 25 letters and 10 numerals. Such being the disposition at the 
receiving end, the thirty-five line wires at the transmitting end were 
each secured to a separate perforated brass plate. On connecting the 

• Sturgeon's Annals of Electricity , etc. March 1839, vol. iii, p. 446. 

t Volta's description of his battery is given in a ** Letter to Sir Joseph Br***^** 
president of the Royal Society of Loudon. {Phil. Trans. R. S, read June 26, IP 
ic, pp. 403-431.) 

t Sturgeon's Annals of Electricity, etc. Mar. 1839, vol. iii, p. 447. 

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respective poleB of the battery with any two of the line wires by means 
of two attached metallic pins held in the hands and inserted in the 
holes of their terminal plates, the current was established, and bubbles 
of hydrogen and oxygen were at once evolved in the corre8i)onding let- 
tered tubes. A system of syllabic communication and reading was pro- 
vided, in which the hydrogen element should be first noted.* 

Very shortly after his first successful working of this telegraph, Soem- 
mering interposed in the galvanic circuit two thousand feet of insulated 
wire, wound around a glass cylinder, without impairing his decomposi- 
tions. He found no appreciable retardation in the action of the electrodes. 
** The evolution of the gas through this considerable length of wir^ ap- 
I)eared to begin as quickly as if the effect had only to traverse two feet.'' t 

In an ^< Historical account of the introduction of the galvanic and 
electro-magnetic telegraph" presented to the Imperial Academy of 
Sciences at St. Petersburg, by Dr. Hamel, of that city, a very full and 
interesting narrative is given of Soemmering's experiments, compiled 
from original documents jf from which the following extracts are made: 

" On the 22d of July, 1809, his apparatus was already so far advanced 
that it was fit to work. He however went on making still further im- 
provements, and it was only on the 6th of August that he considered 
the telegraph quite completed. He was much pleased with its perform- 
ance, being able to work through 724 feet of wire. . • . Two days 
later, he could already telegraph through 1,000 feet, and on the 18th of 
August through as much as 2,000 feet of wire. On the 29th of August 
he exhibited the telegraph in action before a meeting of the Academy 
of Sciences in Munich.'' A year later he first effected a satisfactory 
• arrangement of premonitory alann or attention call. *'On the 23d of 
August, 1810, Soemraeriug succeeded in inventing a contrivance for 
soiuidiug an alarm, which answered i^erfectly well. " (p. 59C.) 

"In September, 1811, Scemmering 8imi>litied his telegraph considera- 
bly ; he reduced the number of wires in his conducting cord from 35 to 
27. . . . On the 1st of February, 1812, Prince Karl Theodor, the 
second son of King Maximilian I, honored Scemmering with a visit to 
see the telegraph. On the 4th of Febmary, 1 812, Soemmering announced 
that he was able to telegi^aph through 4,000 feet of wire, and on the 16th 
of March he telegraphed even through 10,000 feet ^ (p. 597.) This was 
nearly two miles of wiie, but wound on i*eels. 

This complex and inconvenient arrangement of signaling by the de- 
composition of water, would hardly seem to offer a practical method of 
telegraphy. Yet the system was earnestly prosecuted by its inventor for 

* Schweigj^ci'^M Journal fUr Chenile nnd Physik, Ic^U, vol. ii, part 2, pj). 217-213: (finom 
tlio Mcmoirv of the " Koniijlkht Jkademie der Ulsseuachaften,^^ at Munich, 1810.) Also^ 
Poly tech uisvhes Central- lU at t^ June, lr*^y Jalirgang iv, b. i, pp. 482-484. 

t MUnchner Deukschiiften der KonigUchen Akademie der Wissenechaftm fUr 1812, In tlds 
experiment, tbo »clf-iuductiou of the conducting coil probably incroafied Bomewbat 
the efl'ect. 

t Journal of the Society of Arts. London, July 22, and 29, 1859, vol. vii, No. 348, pp. 
695-51)9, andNo. 349, pp. 605-610. 

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many years, and attracted considerable attention; and had no simpler 
device been discovered it might possibly have won its way into use. It- 
is remarkable that some seven or eight years later a Philadelphian inde- 
pendently proposed the same scheme. 

1816. Dr. John Eedman Coxe, of Philadelphia, professor of chemistry 
in the University of Pennsylvania, suggested the employment of wires 
for communicating intelligence by a galvanic current, arranged either to 
decompose water in tubes, (Scemmering's plan, of which he seems to have 
been unaware,) or to decompose metallic salts.* As an untried sugges- 
tion, this has been noticed only because the latter project was afterward 
successftdly developed and executed by others. 

1828. Victor Triboaillet de Saint Amand proposed to establish a gal- 
vanic telegraph line of a single wire from Paris to Brussels, the con- 
ducting wire to be varnished with shellac, wound with silk, coated with 
resin, inclosed in sections of glass tube carefully luted with a resin, the 
whole substantially wrapped and water-proofed, and finally to be buried 
some feet deep in the earth. The signaling device is somewhat obscure, 
as while a stix)ng battery is the source of the current, the receiving in- 
strument is an electrometer.! This project, also belonging to the purely 
speculative class, scarcely deserves a nptice. 

1843. Mr. Eobert Smith, of Blackford, Scotland, devised an experi- 
mental galvano-chemical telegraph carrying out practically the sug- 
gestion offered by Dr. Coxe in 1816. A set of iron type at the receiving 
statioti, each connected by separate wires with a corresponding circuit- 
key at the transmitting station, was so arranged with reference to a 
clock-moved band of paper wet with a solution of ferro-cyanide of potas- 
sium, that when the current was passed through any special circuit, it 
impressed a blue letter on the band. "A paper containing an account 
of this telegraph was read before the Eoyal Scottish Society of Arts on 
the 27th of March, 1843 ; reported on by a committee, and approved 
the 12th of June following. Since that time many trials have been 
made, and various improvements in its construction have also been 
introduced by the inventor.'' { 

Two or three years later Mr. Smith reduced his line to a single circuit 
of two wires ; and the registering device at the receiving station con- 
sisted of a fillet or ribbon of plain calico wound on a roller placed in a 
trough filled with a solution of ferro-cyanide of potassium containing a 
few drops of nitric acid, and unrolled by the motion of clock-work over 
a leaden cylinder with which one of the iron wires of the line was in 
connection, while the end of the other iron wire rested on the wetted 

•Thomson's Annah of Philosophy, Feb. 1816, vol. vii, p. 162. 

t Beport of Academy of Industry, Paris. Quoted from A. VaiFs Electro- Mtignetic Tele- 
graph f 1^45, p. 135. Also Turnbnirs Electro-Magnetic Telegraph, 2d ed. 1853, p. 56. 

t Practical Meokanio and Engineer's Magazine, Glasgow, Nov. 1845, vol. i, 2d series 
p. 36. 

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quiring only the time to touch each key at the one station, and to read 
each letter at the other."* 

Ingenious as this early proposal of an electro-magnetic telegraph ap- 
pears, it really presents essentially but the substitution of the new-found 
galvanometer for the old electrometer at the receiving station, as first 
employed by Lesage, nearly half a century previously. 

1833. The first to develop practically, Ampfere's suggestion of a gal- 
vanometer telegraph, was the Bussian Baron Paul Ludovitsch Schilling, 
of Gronstadt. The personal Mend of Soemmering, he became fix>m an 
early date warmly interested in the galvanic telegraph; and not long 
after Schweigger's invention of the galvanometer, he appears to have 
commenced his experiments in the direction pointed out by Ampere. 
His countryman, the venerable Dr. Hamel, of St. Petersburg, who en- 
joyed his acquaintance, gave in 1859, in his "Historical account of the 
introduction of the galvanic and electro-magnetic Telegraph," the follow- 
ing interesting particulars of Schilling's early associations and purstiitsit 

"At the time when Soemmering became a member of the Academy of 
Sciences at Munich, in 1805, there was attached to the Russian embassy 
in that capital, the Baron Pavel Ludovitsch Schilling, of Gronstadt 
About a year after the invention of the telegraph [by the former] Schil- 
ling saw experiments performed with it. He was so forcibly struck with 
the probability of a very great usefulness of the invention that from that 
day galvanism and its applications bex^ame one of his favorite studies.'' 

"In the spring of 1812, Baron Schilling was endeavoring to contrive 
a conducting cord suflBciently insulated that it might convey the gal- 
vanic current not only through wet earth, but also through long dis- 
tances of water. The war then impending between France and Russia 
made Baron Schilling desirous of finding a means by which such a con- 
ducting cord should serve for telegraphic correspondence between for- 
tified places and the field, and likewise for exploding powder mines 
across rivers. ... In the autumn of 1812, he actually exploded 
powder mines across the river JS"eva, near St. Petersburg. . . . 
Baron Schilling has told me that during his stay at Paris, he with his 
subaqueous conductor, several times (to the astonishment of the lookers- 
on) ignited guni>owder across the river Seine." 

"On the 29th of December, 1815, there came to pay his respects to 
Soemmering (while Baron Schilling was just with him) the well-known 
natural philosopher Johann Salomon Ghistian Schweigger, then pro- 
tessor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the Physico-technical In- 
stitute at Nuremberg, who was on his way to Paris and London : (in which 

• Annates de Chimie et de Physique ^ 1820, vol. xv, pp. 72, 73. 

1 The writer states: ** Letters show that the cordial friendship between Soemmerinff 
and Bai-ou Schilling continued unchanged to the time of his decease in 1830." Schil- 
ling died August 7, 1837. Dr. Hamel himself had the fortune to be personally ac- 
quainted ^vith Oersted, Schweigger, Ampere, Arago, Soemmering, Schilling, and other 
electro-magnetic and telegraphic celebrities. 

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latter place I had afterward the pleasure of making his acquaintance.) 
. . . Baron Schilling having made at Scemmering's the acquaint- 
ance of Schweigger, of course could not foresee that one day an invention 
of this gentleman, the ^multiplier/ would enable him to make at St. 
Petersburg, the first electro-magnetic telegraph.'** 

It is impossible, in the scarcity of documentary evidence, to ascer- 
tain at what date Schilling's long contemplated project of a galvan- 
ometer telegraph (designed as an improvement on the galvanic telegraph 
of his Mend Soemmering) was first reduced to a practical or working 
form: but it was at least as early as the year 1823, when Schilling con- 
structed at St. Petersburg an electro-magnetic telegraph apparatus whose 
signals were produced by five galvanometer needles, each provided with 
its own indei)endent galvanic circuit. Schilling was enabled to eflEect 
his great simplification df an original alphabet of circuits, by the inge- 
nious expedient of giving to each needle a positive and negative motion by 
means of reversed currents, and then of combining two or more of these 
signals. Whether this was really Schilling's first form of apparatus is 
very doubtful; but it is at least cei-tain that he exhibited an operative 
instrament before the Emperor Alexander in 1824, or in 1825.t 

Dr. Hamel remarks : " It was reserved for Baron Schilling at St. Peters- 
burg to make the first electro-magnetic telegraph. Having become (as 
we know) through Soemmering, at Munich, passionately fond of the art 
of telegraphing by mea^s of galvanism, he now used for it the deflection 
of the needle, which he placed within the 'multiplier' of Schweigger 
horizontally on a light vertical axle hanging on a silken thread, and bear- 
ing a circular disk of pai)er colored diflferently on each side. ... By 
degrees he simplified the apparatus. For a time he used five needles, and 
at last he was able to signalize even with one single needle and multiplier, 
producing by a combination of movements in the two directions, all the 
signs for letters and numbers. Ha%ing known Soemmering's alarum. 
Schilling invented one for his telegraph also. His success in bringing 
his instruments to a high state of perfection would have been much 
more rapid had his time not been so much occupied with various duties, 
and particularly with the founding and directing of a large lithographic 
establishment for the Eussian Government Baron Schilling's telegraph 
was an object of great curiosity at St. Petersburg ; it was frequently 
exhibited by him to individuals and to parties. Already the Emperor 
Alexander I, had been pleased to notice it in its earlier stage, and when 
it was reduced to great simplicity, his Majesty the Emi>eror Nicholas 
honored Baron Schilling on the 13th of March, 18.30, with a visit at his 
lodgings in Opotchinin's house, in the Konoosheuuaja, to see experiments 
performed with it through a great length of conducting wires. . . . 

" In May of the last-mentioned year (1830) Baron Schilling undertook 
a journey to China. . . . After liis return from the borders of China to 

•Journal of the Society of Arts, July 22, 1859, vol. vil, pp. 597, 598. 

tThe Emperor Alexander died in 1825. ^.^.^.^^^ ^^ CoOglc 


St Petersburg, in Marcli, 1832, Baron Schilling occupied himself again 
with the telegraph, and in May, 1835, he undertook a journey to the west 
of Europe, taking his simplified instrument with him. In the month of 
September he attended the meeting of the German physicists at Bonn 
on the Rhine, where on the 23d he exhibited his telegraph before the 
section of natural philosophy and chemistry, over which Professor 
Georg Wilhelm Muncke, of the University of Heildelberg, presided. 
Muncke was much pleased with Schilling's instrument, and he determined 
at once to get one for exhibition at his lectures. I have lately found at 
Heidelberg ... in a store-room, the apparatus which Professor 
Muncke got made in imitation of the one exhibited by Baron Schilling 
at Bonn." • 

The conflicting accounts of Schilling's system given at a later date 
appear to refer to instruments constructed at different periods. Thus it 
is said that in the latter part of 1832 [!] he used a " certain number of 
platinum wires insulated and united in a cord of silk, which put in action, 
by the aid of a species of key, 36 magnetic needles, each of which was 
placed vertically in the center of a multiplier. M. de Schilling was the 
first who adapted to this kind of apparatus an ingenious mechanism 
suitable for sounding an alarm, which when the needle was turned at 
the beginning of the correspondence, was set in play by the fall of a 
little ball of lead which the magnetic needle caused to fall. This tele- 
graph of M. de Schilling was received with approbation by the Empe- 
ror, who desired it established on a larger scale : but the death of the 
inventor posti)oned the entcrimse indefinitely." t 

It is also stated in another account, that Schilling exhibited his tele- 
graphic instruments before the Emperor Alexander. "In order to ap- 
prise the attendant before the commencement of a telegraphic dispatch, 
Schilling set off an alarm. How much of his apparatus belongs prop- 
erly to the Baron Schilling, or whether a part of it was not an imitation 
of that of Gauss and Weber, is not for the editor to decide; but that 
Schilling had already experimented (probably with a moi^e imperfect ap- 
jjaratus) before the Emperor Alexander, and subsequently before the 
Emperor Nicholas, is affirmed by the authorities adduced." The account 
describes the communications as consisting of signs devised fix)m the 
various combinations of the right and left deflections of the single nee- 

* Journal of (he Society of Arts, July 2i), 1859, vol. vii, pp. t»OG, GOT. The apparatus 
above referred to, is notoworfby as being tbat seen by Mr. William Fothergill Cooke 
on attending one of the lectures by Professor Mnncke, at Heidelberg, March G, 1836, 
on the electro-magnetic telegraph; and wliich apparatus he proceeiled immediately to 
have reproduced. Ketuniing to l^ondon April 22, of the same vear, Mr. Cooke, (in con- 
junction with Professor Wheatstoue,) succcnided by his energy in intn>dncing the needle 
telegraph into England: and thus Schi I ling's gi*eat invention became transplante^l from 
St. Petersburg to London, without either of its Knglish introducers having any idea of 
itA tnie origin. As Dr. Hamel remarks: ''Mr. Cooke, who had never occupied' himself 
with the study either of natural ]»lnlosonhy in general, or of electricity in particular, 
did not at all get further acquainted wit.ii l*rofessor Mnncke. Ho did not even acquire 
his name properly ; he calls him Moncke. He had no idea that the apparattis he had 
seen had been contrived by Baron Schilling in Russia." 

\ Report of the ** Academy of Industry," Paris, February, 1839. ^ j 

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die-* It must evidently have been at a later date than 1825 when 
Schilling reduced his telegraph line to a single circuit of two wires and 
employed but a single galvanometer. Whether Schilling or Gauss was 
the original inventor of that most important improvement in galvanic 
telegraphy, the simplification and reduction of the line of communication 
to a single circuit cannot now i)erhaps be definitely determined ;t but 
that the credit belongs to Schilling seems highly probable. That Schill- 
ing first invented and constructed a practical and operative electro-mag- 
netic telegraph apparatus is placed beyond dispute; although the his- 
torical evidences of actual date are somewhat obscure. It is remarkable 
that although Schilling's early experimental telegraph was widely ex- 
hibited, and to numbers of distinguished visitors, no contemporary pub- 
lication of its character or construction was made ; and the invention was 
unknown to Western Europe for a dozen years later. J 

Thus, in 1829, Gustav Theodor Fechner, of Leipsic, evidently quite un- 
aware of Schilling's labors — years before, wrote in a text-book on Gal- 
vanism: "There is no doubt that if the insulated wires of twenty-four 
multipliers, representing the letters of the alphabet (situated in Leipsic, 
for example), were conducted underground to Dresden, where should 
be placed a battery, we would have thereby a medium of communica- 
tion probably not very exjiensive, through which intelligence could be 
instantaneously transmitted from one citj- to another.'' § 

And in the year following, 1830, Dr. William Eitchie, at London, in a 
lecture before the Eoyal Institution on the evening of February 12, 
exhibited a working model of a telegraph provided with 26 circuits of 
wire for the several letters of the alphabet, " Mr. Ritchie concluded by ex- 
hibiting the electro-magnetic telegraph proposed by Ampfere, by means 
of which, rapid communication might be carried on between towns in 
every state of the weather. The lecturer concluded by observing that 
in the present state of the inquiry, we cannot pronounce with absolute 
certainty with regard to the success of this ingenious project" || 

The UlectrO'MoffneL — But almost sin^ultaneousiy with the birth of the 
galvanometer, this fertile agent — electricity — developed anew and no less 

• Polift€chni9che$ Central-Blati, Juno, 183S, Jahrgang iv. b. i, p. 486. 

t One of the foremost of telcgrapbic inventors, and the personal friend of Ganss, 
8teinheU himself, speaks thiiH uucei'tainly on this subject: *'The experiments in- 
stituted by Schilling by the dellection of a single magnetic needle, seem much better . 
contrived [than Ampere's plan of an alphabet of wires, adopted by Mr. Davy and 
others] ; he did not, however, succeed in surmounting the mechanical difficulties that 
attend the question in this shape . . . Gauss, and probably in imitation of him, 
Schilling . . . made use of but a single wire running to tlie distant station and 
back." (Sturgeon's 'Annah of Electricity, etc. March, 18: J9, vol. iii, pp. 448 and 450.) 

tin 183.'i, Schilling, assisted by Karon Jacqnin and Professor Ettingshanscn, experi- 
mented with telegraph wires extijuded over the lionscs and nrn>ss tbo streets of Vicuna, 
preferring air Hues to conductors laid in the earth. In 18i{7, >Schilling ordered at a 
rope manufactory in St. Petersburg the necessary length of an insulated submarine 
cable, for the purpose of connecting telegraphically that capital with Cronstatlt, 
through a portion of the Gulf of Finland; the distance between the two cities being 
twenty miles. His death which occurred August 7, 1837, arrested the enterprise. 

f Lekrbuch des Galvanismuaf etc. by G. F. Fechner, 8vo. Leipzig, 1829, !>. 269. 

I The Quarterly Journal of the Roy. Inst, of Gr. Brit. Mar. 1830, vol. xxis, p. 185. 

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marvelous progeny. In the same year, 1820, Dominique Franjois Arago, 
of Paris, announced, "On repeating the experiments of tiie Danish 
physicist, I have observed that the same current will develop strongly 
in strips of iron or steel, the magnetic power. . . . The conjunctive 
wire communicates to soft iron but a momentary magnetization ; but to 
small pieces of steel it gives frequently a permanent magnetism. I have 
been able thus to completely magnetize sewing-needles.'^ 

This germ of a new power required, as usual, the successive labors of 
more than one philosophic investigator to develop fully its capacities. 
To William Sturgeon, of Woolwich, England, belongs the distinguished, 
honor (too little appreciated by his countrymen) of giving to the scien- 
tific toy of Arago a suitable form, and thus of first producing in 1824, the 
true electro-magnet with its intermittent control of an armature. Dis- 
pensing with the glass tube of Arago, Sturgeon constructed a horse-shoe 
bar of soft iron (after the form of the usual i)ermanent magnet), which he 
coated with a non-conducting resinous varnish. Then winding a copper 
wire in a loose coil directly about the limbs of the horse-shoe, on bring- 
ing the ends of the wire in connection with the x>oles of a single galvanic 
pair of moderate size, he found his temporary magnet capable of sus- 
taining several pounds by its armature; and on breaking the circuit, 
becoming instantly powerless. 

It resulted from the correlative function of the galvanic current in 
directing transversely a permanently magnetized needle (first discovered 
by Bomagnosiand Oersted), or in inducing temporary magnetism in iron 
thus transversely placed (first discovered by Arago and Sturgeon), that 
two distinct methods of signaling were offered by this new agency, 
accordingly as a permanent or a temporary magnet were employed. In 
the former case, the determined oscillations of the magnetic bavy by 
means of intermittent currents in a surrounding coil, would form the 
indicating device; and in the latter case, the determined oscillations of 
the armature^ by means of intermittent currents in the coil surrounding 
its associated magnet, would give the indication. Hence the two tyi)es 
of electro-magnetic telegraph; the magnetic-needle system, and the 
magnetic-armature system, t 

On experimenting with the galvanometer needle, it was very soon dis- 
covered that it responded only to variations of surface action in a single 
pair of galvanic elements, and that a large number of galvanic cells (as 
in the Cruickshanks battery), having even a greater total surface of oxi- 

• Annaleit de Chimie et de PhffHqttCy 1820, vol. xv, pp. 93, 95, Arago's method of experi- 
mentation cou8i»ted in winding the wire connecting the poles of the hattery, around a 
glass tube in a loose helix, within which tnbe small pieces of iron or steel were placed. 
Sir Humphrey Davy, of England, not long afterward, also magnetized steel-needles 
by galvanism ; and even ett'ected the resnlt with ordinary electricity from a Leyden-jar 
battery. {Annnh of Philosophy j August, 1821, vol. ii, n. s. pp. 81--iB8.) This was the 
germ — though scarcely more than the germ — of the electro-magnet. For a notice of 
early anticipations of electro-magnetism, see " Supplement,'' m)TE C. 

t A mollification of the latter system, by which the oscillations of an armature are 
superseded by the variable attraction between the magnetized core and its hoUow 
galvanic coil, might x)erhaps be considered as forminjg a third type— that of the 
"axial" magnet. This has been employed in House's printing telegraph. 

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dation, produced bat a comparatiyely small declination of Schweigger's 
needle. In fact, no multiplication of galvanic elements was successful 
in increasing the deflection of a given galvanometer* On the other hand, 
the same galvanometer was found to have its deflections greatly reduced 
with every increase in the length of the interposed circuit And h«^ 
again an increase of surface in the galvanic pair failed to overcome the 
increased resistance of a lengthened conductor. There was also an 
early limit found to the number of turns in the galvanometer coil, which 
could be efficiently employed with any given surface of oxidizable metal 
in the single galvanic element. 

In 1824, Peter Barlow, the eminent English mathematician and mag- 
netician, taking up Amx>^re's suggestion, endeavored more fully to test 
its practicability. He has thus stated the result: "In a very early 
stage of electro-magnetic experiments, it had been suggested that an 
instantaneous telegraph might be established by means of conducting 
wires and compasses. The details of this contrivance are so obvious, 
and the principle on which it is founded so well understood, that there 
was only, one question which could render the result doubtfiil; and this 
was, is there any dimunition of effect by lengthening the conducting 
wiret It has been said that the electric fluid fi*om a common [tin-foil] 
electrical battery had been transmitted through a wire four miles in 
length without any sensible diminution of effect, and to every appear- 
ance instantaneously; and if this should be found to be the case with 
the galvanic circuit, then no question could be entertained of the prac- 
ticability and utility of the suggestion above adverted to. I was there- 
fore induced to make the trial ; but I found such a sensible diminution 
with only 200 feet of wire, as at once to convince me of the impractica- 
bility of the scheme. It led me however to an inquiry as to the cause 
of this diminution and the laws by which it is governed.^* 

From the rapid reduction of effect observed with increasing lengths of 
conjunctive wire under the conditions tried. Barlow (from a considerable 
series of experimental results) was led to believe that the resistance of 
the conducting wire is approximately proportional to the square root of 
its length, t 

Notwithstanding therefore Ampere's "completely successful'^ experi- 
ment " through a very long conducting wire" and Schilling's later work- 
ing of his telegraph "through a great length of wires," (the precise 
length of the circuit not being stated in either case,) the problem of the 
electro-magnetic telegraph coold hardly be considered as satisfactorily 
solved for any practical purposes of communicating to great distances. 
In the deliberate judgment of one of the most eminent of English phys- 

* " On the laws of eleotro-magnetic action.'' Edinburgh PhUoBophioal Journaly Jan. 
1825, voL xii, p. 105. 

tPp. 110, 111 of the Jonmal jast cited. Later experiments under varied conditions 
I1AT6 shown that Ohm's law (announced three years after Barlow's) of a simple ratio 
of iisaistance to length is approximately correct. 

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icists \a this special department, carefiil experiment only tended to show 
" the impracticability of the scheme." 

It is at this point that there appears a new explorer in the electro- 
magnetic fieldj a field from which apparently all the luurek had been 
alreiuly gathered. Joseph Henry, elected to the professorship of mathe- 
matics and natural philosophy in the Albany Academy, of Xcw York, in 
1826, commenced very shortly afterward his scientitic iintisti^atiorLs, 
Sturgeon, in 1824, had pointed out the proper manner of nialdng an 
" electro-magnet,'' and had also greatly improved lecture-room appanituj^ 
for illustrating the torsional reaction between a permanent miignet and 
a galvanic circuit when either is made movable. By iutiHKluiuug in 
such cases a larger and more x>owerful magnet he had su(;ccedod iu ex* 
hibiting the usual phenomena on a larger scale with a considerable re- 
duction of the battery power.* 

Henry was enabled by his skillful experimental investigations to ox- 
hibit all the class illustrations attempted by Sturgeon, not only on a 
still larger and more conspicuous scale, witii the use of feeble magneta 
(where required), but with a still further reduction of the battery i>ower< 
And he moreover carried out the same results to other cases where an 
artificial magnet is inapplicable, as for example, in the illustration of 
Ampfere's fine discovery of the mutual action of two eleetrie currents oa 
each other, or of the influence of the terrestrial magnetism ou a ciUTeut, 
as in Ampfere's swinging galvanic ring, or the floating ring of De La 
Eive. These very striking and unexpected results were obtained by the 
simple expedient of adopting in every case where single circuits had 
previously been used, the manifold coil of fine wire which Schweigger 
had employed to increase the sensibility of the galvanometer. 

The coils employed by Henry in the various articles of api>aratQs tlias 
improved, comprised usually about twenty turns of line copper wim 
wound with silk to prevent metallic contact, the whole being closely 
bound together. To exhibit for instance Ampere's ingenious antl deli- 
cate experiment showing the directive action of the earth as a magnet 
on a galvanic current when its conductor is free to move, (usually a small 
wire frame or ring, of a few inches in diameter, with its extremities dip- 
ping either into mercury cups or into mercury channels^) the efiFect was 
strikingly enhanced by Henry's method of suspending by a silk thread 
a large circular coil, 20 inches in diameter, of many wire circuits bound 
together with ribbon, — the extremities of the wire protrudiug at the 
lower part of the hoop, and soldered to a pair of small galvanic plates;^ 
when by simply placing a tumbler of acidulated water beneath, the hoop 

* Transaciiona of the Society for the encouragement of Arte, etc, 182r», vol. xliH. pp. 38-^!i 
Sturgeon's battery (of a single element) consisted '** of two fixed liolltiw eonceiitriocjt- 
indcrs of thin copper, having a movable cylinder of zinc placed between t beta, led 
BiiperQcial area is only lUO square inches, and it weighs no more Ikau lib, h oi/' Mr* 
Sturgeon was deservedly awarded the silver medal of the Society for the £ui*ouiiitp*- 
meut of Arts, &c. *^for his improved fikotep-ma^netic apparatus.'' Thc^ H.iuia \u wk 
scribed also, in the Jii}ia(« 0/ P/< '*Jw ^ ' " '^. pp. 357-^L 

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at once assumed (after a few oscillations) its equatorial position transverse 
to the magnetic meridian. Such was the character of demonstration by 
which the new Professor was accustomed to make visible to his classes 
the principles of electro-magnetism. And it is safe to say that in sim- 
plicity, efficiency, and conspicuous distinctness, such apparatus for the 
lecture-room was fiair superior to any of the kind then existing. 

The details of this early contribution to electrical science were set 
forth in a communication read by Henry before the Albany Institute 
October 10, 1827, " On some modifications of the electro-magnetic appa- 
ratus.'' In this paper he remarks : 

" Mr. Sturgeon, of Woolwich, who has been x>erhaps the most success- 
ful in these improvements, has shown that a strong galvanic power is 
not essentially necessary even to exhibit the experiments on the largest 
scale. . . . Mr. Sturgeon's suite of apparatus, though superior to any 
other as far as it goes, does not however form a complete set; as indeed 
it is plain that his principle of strong magnets cannot be introduced 
into every article required, and particularly into those intended to ex- 
hibit the action of the earth's magnetism on a galvanic current, or the 
operation of two conjunctive wires on each other. To form therefore a 
set of instruments on a large scale that will illustrate all the facts be- 
longing to this science, with the least expense of galvanism, evidently 
requires some additional modification of the apparatus, and particularly 
in those cases in which powerftd magnets cannot be applied. And such 
a modification appears to me to be obviously pointed out in the con- 
struction of Professor Schweigger's galvanic ^multiplier'; the principles 
of this instrument being directly applicable to all the experiments in 
which Mr. Sturgeon's improvement fails to be useful."* 

Should any one be disposed to conclude that this simple extension of 
Schweigger's multiple coil was unimportant and unmeritorious, the ready 
answer occurs, that talented and skillful electricians, laboring to attain 
the result, had for six years failed to make such an extension. Nor was 
the result by any means made antecedently assured by Schweigger's 
success with the galvanometer. If Sturgeon's improvement of econo- 
mizing the battery size and consumption, by increasing the magnet 
£EU^r(in those few cases where available), was well deserving of reward^ 
surely Henry's improvement of a far greater economy, by increasing 
the circuit fsM^tor (entirely neglected by Sturgeon), deserved a still higher 

In a subsequent communication to Silliman's Journal, Henry remarks 
on the results announced in October, 1827: "Shortly after the publica- 
tion mentioned, several other applications of the coil, besides those de- 
scribed in that paper, were made in order to increase the size of electro- 
magnetic apparatus, and to diminish the necessary galvanic power. The 
most interesting of these was its application to a development of mag- 
netism in soft iron, much more extensive than to my knowledge had been 
* Transactions of the Albany Institute, vol. i, pp. 22, 23. 

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previously effected by a small galvanic element." And in another later 
paper, he repeated to the same effect: ^^After reading an account of 
the galvanometer of Schweigger, the idea occurred to me that a much 
nearer approximation to the theory of Ampfere could be attained by in- 
sulating the conducting-wire itself, instead of the rod to be magnetized; 
and by covering the whole surface of the iron with a series of coils in 
dose contact.'^ 

The electro-magnet figured and described by-Sturgeon (in his commu- 
nication of November, 1825,) consisted of a small bar or stout iron wire 
bent into a n or horse-shoe form, having a copper wire wound loosely 
around it in eighteen turns, with the ends of the wire dipping into mer- 
cury-cups connected with the respective poles of a battery having 130 
square inches of active sur&ce. This was undoubtedly the most e^- 
cient electro-magnet then in existence. 

In June of 1828, Henry exhibited to the Albany Institute a small-sized 
electro-magnet closely wound with silk-covered copper wire about one- 
thirtieth of an inch in diameter. 'By thus insulating the conducting 
wire, instead of the magnetic bar or core, he was enabled to employ a 
compact coil in close juxtaposition from one end of the horse-shoe to the 
other, obtaining thereby a much larger number of circuits, and with 
each circuit more nearly at right angles with the magnetic axis. The 
lifting power of this magnet is not stated, though it must obviously have 
been much more powerful than the one described by Sturgeon. 

In March of 1829, Henry exhibited to the Institute a somewhat larger 
magnet of the same character. "A round piece of iron about one-quar- 
ter of an inch in diameter was bent into the usual form of a horse-shoe, 
and instead of losely coiling around it a few feet of wire, as is usually 
described, it was tightly wound with 35 feet of wire covered with silk, 
so as to form about 400 turns ; a pair of small galvanic plates which 
could be dipped into a tumbler of diluted acid, was soldered to the ends 
of the wire, and the whole mounted on a stand. With these small plates 
the horse-shoe became much more powerfully magnetic than another of 
the same size and wound in the usual manner, by the application of a 
battery composed of 28 plates of copper and zinc each 8 inches square.^ 
In this case the coil was wound upon itself in successive layers. 

To Henry, therefore, belongs the exclusive credit of having first con- 
structed the magnetic "spool" or "bobbin,'' that form of coil since 
universally employed for every application of electro-magnetism, of in- 
duction, or of magneto-electrics. 

In the latter part of 1829, Henry still further increased the magnetic 
power derived fix)m a single galvanic pair of small size, by a new arrange- 
ment of the coil. " It consisted in using several strands of wire each 
covered with silk, instead of one." Employing a horse-shoe formed 
from a cylindrical bar of iron half an inch in diameter and about ten 
inches long, wound with 30 feet of tolerably flue copper wire, he found 

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that with a current from only two and a half square inches of zinc, the 
magnet held 14 pounds.* Winding upon its arms a second wire of the 
same length (30 feet) whose ends were similarly joined to the same gal- 
vanic pair, the magnet lifted 28 pounds. On tiiese results he remarks : 

" These experiments conclusively proved that a great development of 
magnetism could be effected by a very small galvanic element, and also 
that the power of the coil was materially increased by multiplying the 
number of wires, without increasing the length of each. The multi- 
plication of the wires increases the power in two ways : first, by con- 
ducting a greater quantity of galvanism, and secondly, by giving it a 
more proper direction ; for since the action of a galvanic current is di- 
rectly at right angles to the axis of a magnetic needle, by using sev- 
eral shorter wires we can wind one on each inch of the length of the 
bar to be magnetized, so that the magnetism of each inch will be de- 
veloped by a separate wire. In this way the action of each particular 
coil becomes directed very nearly at right angles to the axis of the bar, 
and consequently the effect is the greatest possible. This principle is 
of much greater importance when large bars are used. The advan- 
tage of a greater conducting power ftt)m using several wires might in a 
less degree be obtained by substituting for them one large wire of equal 
sectional area ; but in this case the obliquity of the spiral would be much 
greater, and consequently the magnetic action less.^'t 

But in the following year, 1830, Henry pressed forward his researches 
to still higher results. Assisted by his friend Dr. Philip Ten-Eyck, he 
proceeded to test the power of electro-magnetic attraction on a larger 
scale. "A bar of soft iron 2 inches square and 20 inches long was bent 
into the form of a horseshoe 9^ inches high; (the shari) edges of the bar 
were first a little rounded by the hammer;) it weighed 21 pounds. A 
piece of iron from the same bar, weighing 7 pounds, was filed perfectly 
flat on one surface for an armature or lifter. The extremities of the 
legs of the horse-shoe were also truly ground to the surface of the arm- 
ature. Around this horse-shoe 540 feet of copper bell-wire were wound 
in nine coils of 60 feet each ; these coils were not continued around the 
whole length of the bar, but each strand of wire (according to the prin- 
ciple before mentioned) occupied about two inches and was coiled sev- 
eral times backward and forward over itself. The several ends of the 
wires were left projecting, and all numbered, so that the first and the 
last end of each strand might be readily distinguished. In this man- 
ner we formed an experimental magnet on a large scale, with which 
several combinations of wire could be made by merely uniting the dif- 
ferent projecting ends. Thus if the second end of the first wire be 
soldered to the first end of the second wire, and so on through all the 
series, the whole will form a continued coil of one long wire. By solder- 

* It must not be forgotten that at the time when this experimental magnet was 
made, the strongest electro-magnet in Europe was that of Sturgeon, capable of sup- 
porting 9 pouu£, with 130 square Inches of zinc surface in the battery. 

tSillimau'8 Am, Journal of Science, Jan. 1831, voL xix, p. 402. ^ ^^^T^ 

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ing different ends, the whole may be formed into a doable coil of half 
the lengtii, or into a triple-coil of one-third the length, &ۥ The horse- 
shoe was suspended in a strong rectangular wooden-frame 3 feet 9 
inches high and 20 inches wide." 

Two of the wires (one from each extremity of the legs) being joined 
together by soldering, so as to form a single circuit of 120 feet, with its 
extreme ends connected with the battery, produced a lifting-power of 
60 pounds. (Experiment 19.) The same two wires being separately con- 
nected with the same battery (forming a double circuit of 60 feet each), 
a lifting-power of 200 pomnds was obtained, (Exiieriment 10,) or more 
than three times the power of the former case with the same wir^ 
Four wires (two from each extremity of the legs) being separately coiv 
nected with the battery (forming four circuits) gave a lifting power of 
600 pounds. (Experiment 12.) Six wires (three from each leg) united in 
three pairs (forming three circuits of 180 feet each) gave a lifting-powiar 
of 290 pounds. (Experiment 18.) The same six wires being separately 
connected with the battery in six independent circuits, produced a lift- 
ing-power of 570 pounds, (Experiment 13,) or very nearly double that of 
the same wires in double-lengths. When all the nine wires were sejia- 
rately attached to the battery a lifting-power of 650 pounds was evoked 
(Experiment 14.) In all these experiments " a small single battery was 
used, consisting of two concentric copper cylinders, with zinc between 
them ; the whole amount of zinc-surface exposed to the acid from both 
sides of the zinc was two-fifths of a square foot ; the battery required 
only half a pint of dilute acid for its submersion.'^ 

" In order to ascertain the effect of a very small galvanic element on 
this large quantity of iron, a pair of plates ex€u0y one inch square was 
attached to all the wires ; the weight lifted was 85 pounds." (Experi- 
ment 16.) For the purpose of obtaining the maximum attractive power 
of this magnet, with its nine independent coils, " a small battery formed 
with a plate of zinc 12 inches long and 6 wide, and surrounded by cop- 
I)er, was substituted for the galvanic element used in the former experi- 
ments : the weight lifted in this case was 750 pounds." (Exx>eriment 
15.) • 

Although not directly connected with the purpose of this exposition, 

* SiUlman's Am, Jour, Sci, same vol. pp. 404, 405. The only Enropean physicist who 
at this period had obtained any magnetic results even approaching those effected by 
Henry, was Dr. Gerard MoU (professor of natural philosophy in the University oSf 
Utrecht), who having seen in England in 1828 an electro-magnet of Sturgeon's which 
supported nine [louuds (the very year in which Hcnr^' had exhibited a much more 
powerful magnet before the Albany Institute), "determmed to try the effect of a larger 
i^alvanic apparatus'' ; and in 1630 remarked, ** I obtained results which appear astonish- 
ing." Having formed a horse-shoe about twelve and a half inches in height, of a round 
bar of iron two and a quarter inches in diameter, he surrounded it with about 2& feet 
of insulated ccpper wire one-eighth of an inch thick, in a tolerablv close coil of 44 
turns. The weight of the whole was about *26 pounds ; and with the cum^nt from a 

f:alvanic pair of about 11 snuaro feet of zinc surface, the magnet sustained a weight of 
r>4 poimcts. (Brewster's Edinburgh Jonmal of Sciencf^ Oct., 1830, vol. iii, n. s. p. 214.) 
Henrv's ma^et less in size and weight, lifted about live times this load, with only 
one-eleventh of MoU's battery surface. 

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it may be added here that in the following year, 1831, Henry constructed 
for the laboratory of Yale College a magnet about one foot high from a 
three inch octagonal bar of iron thirty inches long, which wrapped with 
twenty-six strands of copper wire and excited by a battery surface of 
about five square feet, supported 2,300 pounds. Professor Silliman wrote 
on this occasioD, "He has the honor of having, constructed by far the 
most powerful magnets that have ever been known ; and his last, weigh- 
ing (armature and all) but 82^ pounds, sustains over a ton. It is eight 
times more powerful than any magnet hitherto known in Europe.''* 
And Sturgeon (if not the real ffither, at least the true foster-father, of 
the electro-magnet), with a generous enthusiasm, remarked : " Professor 
Henry has been enabled to produce a magnetic force which totally eclipses 
every other in the whole annals of magnetism ; and no parallel is to be 
found since the miraculous^ suspension of the celebrated oriental impostor 
in his iron coffin.'' t 

But to return to his investigations of 1830, Henry, after finding that 
the highest attractive power of the magnet was developed by his novel 
artifice of multiple coils, proceeded to experiment with the simple spool 
magnet of long continuous single coil; and his researches were rewarded 
by a new discovery, namely that though the former method of winding 
the magnet produced the strongest attraction, the latter arrangement 
(Trader special conditions) permitted the weaker attractive power to be 
exercised at a far greater distance; that is through a much greater 
length of conducting wire. 

Employing his earlier and smaller magnet of 1829, formed of a quar- 
ter-inch rod, but wound with about 8 tbet of copper wire, he tried the ef- 
fects of different battery powers, of different length of circuits, and of dif- 
ferent lengths of coil upon the magnet. Excited with a single pair, " com- 
posed of a piece of zinc plate 4 inches by 7, surrounded with copper'' 
(about 50 square inches of zinc surface), the magnet sustained four and 
ahalf x>ounds. (Experiment 4.) With about 500 feet of insulated copper 
wire (.045 of an inch in diameter) interposed between the battery and 
the magnet, its lifting-power was reduced to two ounces ; (Experiment 5 ;) 
or about 36 times. With double this length of wire (or a little over 1,000 
feet) interposed, the lifting-power of the magnet was only half an ounce ^ 
(Exx)eriment 4;) thus fully confirming the results obtained by Barlow 
with the galvanometer ; and showing that the same conditions of en- 
feebled action with increasing length of circuit applied equally to the 
magnet. With a small galvanic pair 2 inches square, acting through 
the same length of wire, (over 1,000 feet,) ^Hhe magnetism was scarcely 
observable in the horse-shoe." (Experiment 3.) 

Employing next a trough battery of 25 pairs, having the same zinc 
surface as previously, the magnet in direct connection, (which before had 
supported four and a half pounds,) now lifted but seven ounces; not 

*Silliman*8 Am, Jour, Sou April, 1831, vol. xx, p, 201. 

\PhHo9opUcal Magazine \ and Annals, March, 1832, toL xi, p. \P^Y\r\(jTp 

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quite half a ponnd. But with the 1,060 feet of copi>er wire (a little more 
than one fifth of a mile) suspended several times across the large room 
of the academy, and placed in the galvanic circuit, the same magnet sua- ' 
tained eight ounces : (Experiment 7 :) that is to say, the current from the 
galvanic trough produced greater magnetic effect through this length 
of wire, than it did without it. 

"From this experiment it appears that the current from a galvanic 
trough is capable of producing greater magnetic effect on soft iron after 
traversing more than one-fifth of a mile of intervening wire than when 
it passes only through the wire surrounding the magnet. It is possible 
that the different states of the trough with respect to dryness may have 
exerted some infiuence on this remarkable result ; but that the effect of 
a current from a trough if not increased is but slightly diminished in 
passing through a long wire is certain.'' And after speculating on this 
new and at the time somewhat paradoxical result, Henry concludes : 
"But be this as it may, the fact that the magnetic action of a current 
from a trough is at least not sensibly diminished by passing through a 
long wire, is directly applicable to Mr. Barlow's project of forming an 
electro-magnetic telegraph j* and it is also of material consequence in 
the construction of the galvanic coil. From these experiments it is 
evident that in forming the coil we may either use one very long wire, 
or several shorter ones, as the circumstances may require : in the first 
ca&«6, our galvanic combination must consist of a number of plates so as 
to give * projectile' force j in the second, it must be formed of a single 

The importance of this discovery can hardly be overestimated. The 
magnetic "spool" of fine wire, of a length — tens and even hundreds of 
times that ever before employed for this purpose, — was in itself a gift to 
science, which really forms an epoch in the history of electro-maguetisnu 
It is not too much to say that almost every advancement which has been 
made in this fruitful branch of physics since the time of Sturgeon's happy 
improvement, from the earliest researches of Faraday downward, have 
been directly indebted to Henry's magnets, f By means of the Henry 
"spool" the magnet almost at a bound was developed from a feeble 
childhood to a vigorous manhood. And so rapidly and generally was 
the new form introduced abroad among exi)erimenters, few of whom had 
ever seen the pai)ers of Henry, that probably very few indeed have been 

* ReaUy Ampere's pxx)ject, not Barlow's. In a subsequent paper Hemy corrected 
this allusion by sayings "I called it 'Barlow's project,' when I ought to have stated 
that Mr. Barlow's investigation merely tended to disprove the possibility of a 

t Silliman's Am, Jour. Soi, Jan. 1831, vol. xlx, pp. 403, 404. 

X Both forms of the Henry majB^et have found valuable applications in science. In 
Faraday's tirst electrical investigations, in the latter part of 1€C31, he acknowledged 
the merit of Henry's magnets, and in constructing his duplex helices for observing 
the phenomena of induction, ho adopted Henry's method of winding 12 coils of copper 
wire each 27 feet long, one upon the other. (Philosopkical Transactiona of the Roffoi 
Societtfy November 24, 1831, vol. cxxii [for 1832], pp. 126 and 138. And Faraday's JS»- 
perimental Researches, etc. voL i, art. 6, p. 2, and art. 57, p. 15.) 

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aware to whom they were really indebted for this familiar and powerful 
instromentality. But the historic fact remains, that prior to Henry's 
experiments in 1829, no one on either hemisphere had ever thought of 
winding the limbs of an electro-magnet on the principle of the " bobbin,'' 
and not till after the publication of Henry's method in January of 1831, 
was it ever employed by any European physicist.* 

But in addition to this large gift to science, Henry (as we have seen) 
has the pre-eminent claim to popular gratitude of having first practi- 
cally worked out the differing functions of two entirely different kinds 
of electro-magnet: the one surrounded with numerous coils of no great 
length, designated by him the "quantity" magnet, the other sur- 
rounded with a continuous coil of very great length, designated by 
him the "intensity" magnet. t The former and more powerful system, 
least affected by an "intensity" battery of many pairs, was shown to 
be most responsive to a single galvanic element : the latter and feebler 
system, least influenced by a single pair, was shown to be most excited 
by a battery of numerous elements; but at the same time was shown to 
have the singular capability (never before suspected nor imagined) of 
subtile excitation from a distant source. Here for the first time is ex- 
perimentally established the important principle that there must be a 
proportion between the aggregate internal resistance of the battery and 
the whole external resistance of the coiyunctive wire or cx)nducting 
circuit; with the very important practical consequence, that by com- 
bining with an "intensity" magnet of a single extended fine coil an 
" intensity" battery of many small pairs, its electro-motive force enables 
a very long conductor to be employed without sensible diminution of the 
effect*! This was a very important though unconscious experimental 
confirmation of the mathematical theory of Ohm, embodied in his for- 
mula expressing the relation between electric flow and electric resist- 
ance, which though propounded two or three years previously, failed 
for a long time to attract any attention from the scientific world. § 

• Henry's "spool " magnet appears to have been introduced into France by Pooilleft 
in 183?. See "Supplement," Note D. 

t "In describing the results of ray experiments the terms 'intensity' and 'quantity' 
magnets were introduced to avoid circumlocution, and were intended to be use<l merely 
in a technical sense. By the intensity magnet I designated a piece of soft iron so sur- 
rounded with wire that its magnetic power could be called iuto operation by an * in- 
tensity' battery ; and by a quantity magnet, a piece of iron so surrounded by a number 
of separate coils that its magnetism could l>e fully developed by a 'unantity ' battery." 
(Smithsonian Report for 1857, p. 103. ) These terms though generally discarded by recent 
writers, are still very convenient designations of the two classes of action, both in the 
battery and in the magnet. 

t BeyonH a certain maximum length, there is of course a decrease of power for each 
difTering coil of the " intensity" ma^^et, proportioned to the increased resistance of 
a long conductor ; but the magnetizing eftect has not been found to be diminished in 
the ratio of its length. In a very long wire, the magnetizing influence (with a suit- 
able "intensity" battery) appears to be inversely proportioned to the square of the 
length of the conductor. 

f Georg Simon Ohm, professor in physics at Munich, published at Berlin, in 1827, 
his "Galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet:" and in the following year, h6 
published a supplementary paper entitled "NachtrSge zu seicer mathematiscnen 
Bearbeitnng der galvanischen Kette ; " in Kastner's Archie fiir gemmmie iyoteWMre 

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Never let it be forgotten that he who first exalted the "quantity* 
magnet of Sturgeon from a power of twenty pounds to a power of twenty 
hundred pounds, was the absolute creator of the "intensity" mag- 
not; that magnet which alone is able to act at a great distance from its 
exciting battery; — ^that magnet which by very reason of its lower 
" quantity " is alone applicable to the uses of telegraphy. 

As Professor Daniell has concisely stated the problem: "Electro- 
magnets of the greatest power, even when the most energetic batteries 
are employed, utterly cease to act when they are connected by consider- 
able lengths of wire with the battery."* 

Seven years after Henry's first exx)erimental demonstration of this 
unlooked-for result, and his complete establishment of the conditions 
required for magnetizing iron at great distances through very long con- 
ducting wires, Prof. Charles Wheatstone, of King's College, London^ 
having found a difficulty in signaling through four miles of wire, was 
enabled to work out the problem for his own telegraph, by help derived 
froxa Henry's labors. And yet he permitted his coUeague, Prof. John 
F. Daniell, of King's College, to prefix to the passage above quoted 
from the excellent treatise on " Chemical Philosophy," the remarkable 
statement : " Ingenious as Professor Wheatstone's contrivances are, they 
would have been of no avail for telegraphic puri)oses without the in- 
vestigation, whidi he urns the first to make^ of the laws of electro-magnets, 
when acted on through great lengths of wire." And this erroneous 
declaration waspublished long after Henry's "quantity" and " intensity" 
magnets had been employed in the exx)eriment8 of European elec- 
tricians; and years after Professor Wheatstone himself had formed the 
acquaintance of Henry, and in April, 1837, had learned from his own 
lips an account of his elaborate investigations and successful results.! 

Whether Baron Schilling ever experimented on a sufficient length of 
circuit to encounter the fundamental practical difficulty announced by 
Barlow in 1825 does not appear; but that formidable obstacle to the 
actual extension of his enterprise, certainly existed until the year 1831^ 
when Henry announced that the principles demonstrated by his re- 
searches in 1829 and 1830, were "directiy applicable to the project of 
forming an electro-magnetic telegraph." And while these principles 

(8vo. NUrnberg :) ltj28, vol. xiv, pp. 475-493. Fourteen years after the publication of 
the fonuer itieuioir, this elaborate discnssion was for the first time translated into 
English, by Mr. William Francis. ("The Galvanic Circuit investigated mathemat- 
ically." Taylor's Scicnt>fic McmoirSy etc. London, 1841, vol. ii, pp. 401-^606.) 

"Introduction to the Studtf of Chemical Philosophy y second edition, 8vo. London, 
1843, chap, xvi, sect. 859, p. 576. 

\ Smithsonian Report for 18.'>7, pp. Ill, 112. The following pertinent extract is 
made from an excellent and appreciative memoir of the **Lite and Work of Joseph 
Henrj'," recently read at the annual session of the American Electrical Society, at 
Cbicago, III., December 1*2, 1878, by one of its vice-presidents, Mr. Frank L. Pope : ** In 
1856, referring again to these experiments, Wheatstone writes : * With this law and its 
appHcations, no persona in England^ who had before occupied themselves with experi- 
ments relating to electric telegraphs, had been acquainted.' ... It would seem 
from the peculiar wording of Wlieatstone's statement last quoted, that he must then 
have been aware of Henry's priority in this respect, and had his experiments in mind, 
at the time of writing it." (Journal of ths Am» Electrical Society^ voL ii, pp. 135. 136.) 
This subject is more mlly considered in the " Supplement," Note i^.^00^1c 


underlie all subseqaent applications of the intermittent magnet, they 
form indeed the indispensable basis of every form of the electro-mag- 
netic telegraph since invented. They settled satisfactorily (in Barlow's 
phrase) the "only question which could render the result doubtful"; and 
though derived from the magnet, were obviously as applicable to the 
galvanometer needle.* 

It is idle to say in disparagement of these successes, that in the 
competitive race of numerous distinguished investigators in the field, 
diUgently searching into the conditions of the new-found agency, the 
same results would sooner or later have been reached by others. For 
of what discovery or invention may not the same be saidt Only those 
who have sought in the twilight of uncertainty, can appreciate the vast 
economy of effort by prompt directions to the path from one who has 
gained an advance. Not for what might be, but for the actual bestowal, 
does he who first grasps a valuable truth merit the return of at least a 
grateful recognition. 

1 831. As an exx)erimental demonstration of the telegraph — now made 
possible, Joseph Henry, early in the year 1831, susi)ended around the 
walls of one of the upper rooms in the Albany Academy, a mile of cop- 
per bell- wire interposed in a circuit between a small Cruickshauks bat- 
tery and an "intensity'* magnet. A narrow steel rod (a permanent 
magnet) pivoted to swing horizontally like the compass needle, was ar- 
ranged so that one end remained in contact with a limb of the soft iron 
core, while near the opposite end of the compass rod a small stationary 
office-bell was placed. At each excitation of the electro-magnet, the 
compass rod or needle was repelled from one limb (by its similar mag- 
netism) and attracted by the other limb, so that its fi^ee end tapped the 
belL On reversing the current, the compass rod moved back to the op- 
I>osite limb of the electro-magnet. This simple device the Professor was 
accustomed to exhibit to his classes at the academy, during the years 
1831 and 1832, in illustration of the facility of transmitting signals to a 
distance by the prompt action of electro-magnetism, t 

This memorable expeiimental telegraphic arrangement involved three 
very significant and important novelties. In the first place, it was the 
first electro-magnetic telegraph employing an "intensity" magnet ca- 

*• When tirge<l by a zealous friend to secure an early patent on these valuable and 
pregnant •improvements, Henry resolutely withstood every importunity, seemiug t^ 
feel that a discoverer's position and aptitude are lowere<l by courting self-aggranmze- 
ment from scientific tmth : a self-denying gcnerositjr which characterized him through- 
out his life. While such disinterest cdiiess cannot tail to excite our admiration, it may 
perhaps be questioned whether in this case it did not, from a practical point of -view, 
amount to an over-fastidiousness ; whether such legal establishment of ownership, 
shielding the poe»essor from the occasional depreciations of the envious, and securing 
by its more tangible remunerations the leisure and the means for more extended re- 
searches, would not have been to scieuco more than a compensation for the supposed 
sacrifice of dignity by the philosopher. Since the dat-e of the American patents of 
Wheatstone and of Morse (ten years later) several hundred patents have been granted 
in this coantrv for ingenions improvements upon or modifications of the electro-mag- 
netic telegraph, aU of them necessarily dependent on Henry's original invention. 

tFor the testimonials of a few surviving eye-witnesses to the practical working of 
Henry's experimental lino in 1831, and 18S, see ** Supplement," Note E. 

8. Mis. 59 19 ^'3"'^^^ '' ^OOglL 


piable of being excited at very great distances from a suitable " intensity" 
battery. And there can be no doubt that a similar combination of ^^ in- 
tensity'' battery, with* a very long coil galvanometer (such as had pre- 
viously been found inoperative), was alone wanting to have rendered the 
early telegraph of Schilling a popular and commercial success. 

In the second place, this experimental arrangement of Henry was the 
first electro-magnetic telegraph employing the armature as the signstog 
device ; or employing the attractive power of the intermittent magnet, as 
distinguished from the directive action of the galvanic circuit. That is 
to say, it was strictly speaking the first " Tnagnetic telegraph." 

In the third place, it was the first a^jotwftc electro-magnetic telegraph. 
One practical inconvenience of the "needle" system has been found to 
be the perfect silence of its indications ; and hence in almost every case 
a call-alarm has been required to insure attention to its messages. In 
this respect the intermittent magnet presents the advantage, not merely 
of a greater mechanical power from the same galvanic current, and thus 
of a better adaptation for striking a bell at a distance, but of being in 
itself an audible sounder by the mere impacts of its armature.* 

It is suggestive to consider for a moment how different would have 
been the popular estimate of Henry's labors, (and especially thepradi' 
cal estimation of subsequent patentees), if the modest discoverer and in- 
ventor had been " worldly-wise " enough to secure an early patent on 
these three indisputably original and most pregnant features of teleg- 
raphy : — ^to contest which no rival has ever appeared.! 

In 1832, Henry was elected to the chair of natural philosophy in the 
college of Few Jersey, at Princeton. In 1834, he constructed for the 
laboratory of this college an original and ingenious form of galvanic bat- 
tery, comprising eighty-eight elements, (each having an active zinc sur- 
face of one and a half square feet,) of which any number, from a single 
pair upward, could be brought into action ; while by means of adjustable 

* It may bo incidentally mentioned that early in 1831, aft«r the satisfactory opera- 
tion of the first teleffrapluc m^net, Henry contrived the first Electro-macne tic Enjhne, 
comprising an oscillating horizontal electro-magnetic bar, just below each end of which 
was secured an upright permanent magnet, the two ha\ing similar poles. The polai^ 
ity of the oscillatmg electro-magnet was reversed at the moment of attractive contact, 
by automaticaUy inverting the circuit current, and thus each of its poles was alter- 
nately attracted and repelled by its neighboring magnet. (Sillimau's Am, Joiamal of 
Sciettccj July, 1831, vol. xx, pp. 340-343.) Henry was therefore the original inventor 
of the aut<)raatic pole-changer or commutator, — a device having a very wide range of 
useful apx>lication. The iUustrious English physicist, James P. Joule, in his " His- 
torical Sketch of the rise and progress of Electro-magnetic Engines for propelling 
machinery," remarks : ** The improve<l plan by Professor Henry of raising the magnetic 
action of soft iron, developed new and inexhaustible sources of force which appeared 
easily and extensively avaUable as a mechanical agent ; and it is to the ingenions 
American philosopher^ that we are indebted for the first form of a working model of 
an engine upon the pnnciple of reciprocating polarity of soft iron by electro-dynamio 
agency." (Sturgeon's Annals of Electricity ^ etc. March, 1839, vol. iii, p. 430.) 

t A quarter of a century afterward Henry could proudly say, " I have sought no pat- 
ent for inventions, and solicited no remuneration for my labors, but have freely given 
their results to the world ; expecting only in return to enjoy the couscionsness of hav- 
ing added by ray investigations to the sura of human knowledge, and \o receive the 
credit to which they might justly entitle me." {Smithminan Report for 1857, p. 86.) 

Digitized by VoiOO^ l(^ 


conductors, all the pQsitive elements could be associated together, as 
also all the negative ones, so as to form ylrtually a single pair having 1313 
square feet of zinc surface, or any smaller area desired. In this manner 
the apparatus could readily be transformed into a "quantity'^ battery, 
or an " intensity ^ battery, at pleasure. In the same year he constructed 
for the laboratory a powerful." quantity'' magnet, surpassingf his Yale 
Ck)llege magnet; its lifting power, with a battery not exceeding one 
cubic foot in bulk, being 3,500 pounds. In the following year, 1835, he 
extended wires across the front campus of the college grounds, from the 
upper story of the library building to the philosophical hall on the op- 
posite side, through which magnetic signals were occasionally sent, dis- 
tinguished by the number'of taps on the bell, as first exhibited by him 
four or five years earlier in the hall of the Albany Academy. Although 
Henry had established the fact (contrary to all the antecedent expecta- 
tion of physicists) that the most powerfiil form of magnet — the "quan- 
tity'' magnet — ^is not the form best adapted to distant action through an 
extended circuit, the ingenious idea occurred to him that he could easily 
combine such a system with the feebler "intensity" system, so as to 
produce powerful mechanical action at almost any required distance. It 
was simply necessary to apply to the oscillating armature of the distant 
"intensitv " magnet a suitable prolongation so arranged as to open and 
close the short circuit of the adjoining "quantity" magnet of any a\ail- 
able power. It was with his Princeton telegraph line, and its compar- 
atively feeble magnet, that he undertook the experiment of breaking by 
the mere lift of a small wire from a mercury thimble the "quantity" cir- 
cuit of his monster magnet, and thus causing its heavy load to fall : — a 
force scarcely safe if exerted through any sensible distance. He thus 
fiiUy illustrated the practicability of calling into action at a great 
distance a power capable of producing the most energetic mechanical 

1833. Ten years after the experimental telegraph of Schilling, Pro- 
fessors Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Edward Weber constructed 
at Gottingen a galvanometer telegraph of single circuit from the Cabinet 
of Natural PJiilosophy to the Observatory, a distance of about a mile and 
a half. The two naked wires after the method of Weber were carried 
over the houses and steeples of Gottingen, being supported by insula- 
tors. The battery power being small, the receiving apparatus consisted 
of a "multiplier" containing a very great length of fine silvered copper 
wire J and the magnetic bar suspended by a silk thread carried on the 
axis of suspension a small mirror, whose minute deflections were observed 
at the distance of ten or twelve feet through a telescope, t Thetelc- 

•Smithstn^n Bepwri for 1857, pp. 106, 112. 

tThis appears to be one of the first employments of a reflecting c^lvanometer, an 
instrument which in the hands of Sir William Thomson has been bronght to an ex- 
treme degree of sensibility, and has rendered ocean tele^rraphy x>088ible. As early as 
li±^, however. Prof, Christian J. Pog|;endorff applied the reflector to the magnetic 
needle for accnratcly determining minnto variations in its horizontal declinatio 
(Pogg. AnnaUn der rhjf$. und Chan. 1826, voL viL pp. 121-130.) Digitized by ^^OO^IC 


graph was first worked by a galvanic current from a battery, and after- 
ward for convenience by the secondary current from a magneto^lectric 
apparatus; to which Gauss adapted an arrangement of commutator, 
whereby the direction of the induced current could be instantly reversed 
by a touch of the finger. The alphabet of signs was made up of differ- 
ing combinations of right and left deflections of the needle. Weber ap- 
plied to the signaling device* a delicate apparatus for setting off a clock 

1836. Prof. C. A. Steinheil, of Munich, at the request of G^uss, (who 
was absorbed in more abstract researches on magnetism,) in 1834, under- 
took to develop and improve his arrangement ; and in 1836 had construct- 
ed a similar galvanometer telegraph line between Munich and Bogen- 
hausen, a distance of about two miles, t Employing a greater power he 
arranged at the receiving station the magnetic bar or double bars of the 
galvanometer with a larger sweep, so that two bells of differing tones 
should be struck thereby ; and he thus produced an acoustic telegraph 
(five years later than Henry's), capable of audible language,. and dis- 
pensing with the occasion for any call-alarm. To the adjacent ends of 
the two magnetic bars having opposite polarities, but oscillating within 
the same coil, he applied fountain pens or marking-points so as to make 
I)ermanent alternating dots on a fillet of paper carried under them by 
the regular movement of clock-work, in the manner long familiarly em- 
ployed in self-registering meteorological and other instruments. Al- 
though Dyar, on Long Island, had devised a chemical register as early 
as 1828, and had partly executed it by a successful trial, this double 
magnet of Steinheil appears to constitute'the earliest operative applica- 
tion of an automatic record to the electric, or to the electro-magnetic, 
telegraph. Steinheil also improved somewhat on the alphabet of Gauss, 
though adopting substantially the same system. J 

In the following year, 1837, he made another most important improve- 
ment in practical telegraphy, by the unexpected discovery that even the 
single circuit of a to and fro line could be further simplified by the 
suppression and economy of one-half of its wire.§ 

* Gdtttngische Gelehrte Anzeuien^ Aug. 9, 1834, part ii, No. 128, pp. 1272, 1273. And 
PolyiechnUchea CentraUBlattf Juue, 1838, Jahrgang iv, No. 31, pp. 487-496. 

t Acconlin^ to Dr. Hamel of St. Petersburg, in the early part of July, 1837, " Stein- 
Leil, at Mauich, had completed the connection of his house in the Lerohenstrasse wi^ 
the building of the Academy of Sciences, and with the Royal Observatory at Bogen- 
hauseu, by means of 36,000 feet of wire for conducting the current both ways, the 
wires being suspended in the air." (Journal of Sodeiy of Arts, July 29, 1859, voL vii, 
p. 609.) 

X Steinheil remarks: ^' As long as the intervals between the separate signs remain 
equal, they are to be taken together as a connects group, whether they be pauses be- 
tween the tones, or intervals between the dots marked down. A longer pause separ- 
' ates these groups distinctly from each other. We are thus enable I, by appropriately 
selected groups thus combined, to form systems representing the letters of the alpha- 
bet, or stenographic characters, and thereby to repeat and render permanent at all 
parts of the chain where an apparatus like that above described is inserted, any in- 
formation that we transmit. The alphabet that I have chosen represents the letters 
that occur the oftenest in German by the simplest signs." (Sturgeon's AnnaU of EUc- 
tricitjf, etc. April, 1839, vol. iii, p. 520.) 

$^'In 1837 Professor Steinheil operated a telegraph line between Monioh and Bogen- 


" Quite recently I made the discovery that the ground may be em- 
ployed as one-half of the connecting chain. As in the case of Motional 
electricity, water or the ground may with the galvanic current form a 
portion of the connecting wire. Owing to the low conducting power of 
these bodies compared with metals, it is necessary that at the two places- 
where the metal conductor is in connection with the semi-conductor, the 
former should present very large surfaces of contact. Taking water for 
instance to conduct two million times worse than copper, a surfEice of 
water proportional to this must be brought in contact with the copi)er, 
to enable the galvanic current to meet with equal resistance in equal 
distances of water and of metal ; for instance, if the section of a copper 
wire is one-half of a square line, it will require a copper plate of 61 square 
feet of surface in order to conduct the galvanic current through the 
ground as the wire in question would conduct it: but as the thickness 
Of the metal is quite immaterial in this case, it will be always within 
our reach to get the requisite surfaces of contact at no great expense. 
Not only do we by this means save half the conducting wire, but we can 
even reduse the resistance of the ground below what that of the wire 
would be, as has been fully established by experiinents made here with 
the experimental telegraph.'** 

In his account pf these valuable contributions to both the science and 
the art of electric telegraphy, Steinheil modestly assigns to his immedi- 
ate predecessors the credit of the most important advancements in the 
system. He says: *'To Gauss and Weber is due the merit of having, in 
1833, actually constructed the first simplified galvano-magnetio telegraph. 
It was Gauss who first employed the excitement of induction [magneto- 
electricity], and who demonstaled that the appropriate combination of a 
limited number of signs is all that is required for the transmission of 
communication, t Weber's discovery that a copper wire 7,460 feet long, 
which he had led across the houses and steeples at Gottingen, from the 
Observatory to the Cabinet of Natural Philosophy, required no special 
insulation, was one of great importance. The principle was thereby at 
once established of bringing the galvanic telegraph to the most conven- 
ient form. In accordance with the principles we have laid down, all that 
was required in addition to this was to render the signals audible j a task 
that apparently presented no very particular difficulty, inasmuch as in 
the very scheme itself a mechanical motion — ^namely the deflection of a 

hanaen. in Gennany, using iron wire oondactoro, and the eartJi for a return circuit. 
Tliis discovery was published in 1837, in German, and translate*! into English by 
Julian Guggsworth, November 24, 1B38." (Prescotfs Hist, Electr, Telegraph, I860, chap, 
xxi, p. 4(^.) An account of Steinheil's telegraph was read before the French Academy 
of Sciences, September 10, 1838. {Comptes Rendua^ vol. vii, pp. 590-593.) 

•SteinheiPs paper **0n Telegraphic Communication : " translated from the German, 
November 24, 1838, by Julian Guggsworth. Sturgeon's Annals of Electrwiiy, etc. 
April, 1839, vol. iii, p. 512. A full description of Steinlieil's telegraph is given in Dr. 4 
Julius VnWB Anwendang des ElektromagnetismuSf Berlin, 1863; 2d edition, 1873, sect, v, 
pp. 339-347. 

t These statements do not however do justice to Schilling's much earlier "simpli- 
fied galvanu-magnetic telegraph," with which Steinheil was very imperfectly ac- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


magnetic bar — ^was given. All that we had to do thei'efore was to 
contrive that this motion should be made available for striking bells or 
for marking indelible dots. This falls within the province of mechan- 
ics, and there are therefore more ways than one of solving the prob- 
lem. Hence the alterations that I have made in the telegraph of 
Gauss, and by which it has assumed its present form, may be said to 
be founded on my perception and improvement of its imperfections, in 
harmony with what I had previously laid down as necessary for perfect 
telegraphic communication. I by no means however look on the arrange- 
ment I have selected as complete; but as it answers the purpose I had 
in view, it may be well to abide by it till some simpler arrangement is 
contrived."* To Steinheil's lasting honor be it said, that when some 
dozen years later "a simpler arrangement of the receiving instrument 
wds brought to his attention, he was the first to appreciate it and to 
urge upon the Bavarian Government its adoption, to the abandonment 
of a portion of his own beautiful system. An example of magnanimity, 
or more properly of intellectual and unbiased judgment, much r^'er 
with inventors of practical improvements in art, than with discoverers 
of truth in science. 

These later developments of the telegraph, though in public use at 
the dates specified, not having been generally describe4 by their authors 
immediately for publication, were from the meager notices of them found 
in the foreign journals, but little known in this country for several years 
afterward; and hence naturally arose the strong patriotic impression 
with many that the electro-magnetic telegraph was essentially an Amer- 
ican invention. 

About the same time that Steinheil in Munich was engaged in im- 
proving the needle telegraph, a distinguished chemical philosopher of 
London, was developing the galvanic battery; and he succeeded in 
giving that important apparatus a uniformity and continuity of action 
previously unhoped for. In the adopted forms of the Voltaic battery 
as arranged by Cruickshanks and others, the oxygen liberated by the 
active zinc surface rapidly attacked the plate, forming a coating of oxide 
over it which soon greatly impaired its chemical and galvanic efficiency. 
On the other hand, the hydrogen liberated at tlie surface of the copper, 
remained largely adherent to it in the form of minute bubbles, thus in- 
sulating it to a corresponding extent from contact with the liquid ; while 
at the same time dissolved zinc was deposited on its exposed surface. 

To ob^iate these impediments. Professor John Frederic Daniell pro- 
vided a porous partition between the two metals, which while permitting 
the necessary conductibility from one side to the other, prevented the 
^ convective intermixture of the separated portions of liquid, and thus 
also allowed for the first time two different liquids to be employed for 
bathing the different metals. The liquid employed on the copper side 

* Storgeon^s AnnaU of Electricity^ etc. Mar. 1839, voL iii, pp. 448, 449. 

Digitized by V^iOOQIC 


was a saturated solution of the sulphate of copper; — crystals of the 
sulphate being suspended in the liquid, for supplying the exhaustion of 
the copper. The liquid on the zinc side was a very diluted sulphuric 
acid. With this arrangement the oxygen evolved at the zinc surface 
forms mainly a zinc oxide, which dissolved by the liquid into a sulphate 
of zinc, is prevented from passing to the copper side of the partition, 
and the hydrogen evolved at the copper surface combining at once with 
the oxygen of the copper salt, forms water, and allows the free copi)er 
to be deposited on its own plates : and Professor Daniell was able to 
announce in a paper read before the Eoyal Society of London, February 
11, 1836, "I have been led to the construction of a voltaic arrangement 
which frimishes a constant current of electricity for any length of time 
which may be required.''* 

Although it is true that the electric telegraph may be operated by the 
old form of battery — ^frequently renewed, (just as a good steam-ieugine 
may be efficiently worked by an inferior and wasteful boiler,) and also 
that a uniform current well adapted to the telegraph may be obtained 
from the magneto-electric machine, yet the " constant '^ battery has 
proved a most valuable boon in promoting the practical economy and 
success of modern telegraphy. 

1837. Mr. William Fothergill Cooke and Prof. Charles Wheatstone 
obtained an EngUsh patent June 12, 1837, (No. 7390,) for a galvanometer 
or needle telegraph, very similar to the earlier one of Schilling, employ- 
ing six wires and five indicating needles. At what date Prof. Wheat- 
stone's attention was first directed to electrical signaling cannot now be 
ascertained; but in 1834 he had undertaken by means of his ingenious 
invention of the revolving mirror (capable of measuring the millionth 
of a second), to determine the velocity of ordinary electricity through 
half a mile of copper wire; t and a year or two later, through about four 
miles of the same. Early in 1836, he had contemplated a telegraph which 
with five needles, should give thirty signs. Mr. W. F. Cooke, attending 
a lecture on electro-magnetic communication by Professor Muncke, at Hei- 
delberg, March G, 1836, (as previously mentioned,) at which the telegraphic 
apparatus of Schilling was exhibited, at once "conceived the idea.'' In 
his ** Statement of facts to the Arbitrators" in December, 1840, Mr. Cooke 
declares : "Mr. Moncke's experiment was at that time the only one upon 
the subject that I had seen or heard of. It showed that electric cur- 
rents being conveyed by wires to a distance, could be there caused to 

•Phil. Trans. Boy. Soc, 1836, vol. cxxvi,p.l07. In the "gravity battei-y" of Cal- 
laad, and of Varley, the porous diaphragm is dispensed with by placing the lighter 
liquid (a diluted solution of zinc sulphate) above the heavier liquid (a saturated solu- 
tion of copper sulphate); the separation being maintained by tlieir difference of 
specific gravity. In this arrangement the copper plate rests at the bottom of the cell, 
and the zinc plate is supported at its top. 

♦ PhUosoph. Transad of Roy. Soc. (read June 19, 1834), vol. cxxiv, pp. 583-589. In this 
paper, Wheatstone says, that his first ineffectual attempt to discover a velocity of 
electricity was made in 1830. " The method by which I then proposed to effect this 
purpose, was announced in a lecture delivered by Dr. Faraday, at the Royal Institu- 
tion, in June, 1830." (p. 583.) 

Digitized by V^iOOQIC 


deflect magnetio needles, and thereby to give signals. It was in a word a 
hint at the application of electricity to telegraphic purposes ; but nothing 
more, for it provided no means of applying that power to practical uses. 
[!]... Within three weeks after the day on which I saw the ex- 
periment, I had made (partly at Heidelberg and partly at Frankfort) 
my first electric telegraph of the galvanometer form." • This apparatus 
comprised three indicating needles in connection with three circuits of 
six wires ; each terminus of the line being provided with both trans- 
mitting keys, and indicating galvanometers. Mr. Cooke also applied 
a call-alarm, differing from Schilling's in having an ordinary clock- 
alarm, (similar to that used by Weber several years previously,) 
checked by an armature detent which was released on the excitement 
of an electro-magnet by the current. Kot being skilled in electricc^ 
science however, nor aware of Henry's researches, he soon found 
the difficulty of operating with a "quantity" battery his galvanometer 
coils through a long circuit ; and in February, 1837, he was introduced 
to Professor Wheatstone by Dr. P. M. Eoget. t On comparing their 
respective projects of a needle telegraph, the two concluded to combine 
their exertions in a partnership ; and in a little more than three months 
they secured a joint patent on their perfected system.J An experimental 
line between Euston Square and Camden Town Stations (a distance of 
a mile and a quarter), was worked with partial success July 25, 1837 ; 
and early in 1838, the patentees established a telegraph line between 
Paddington and West Dayton ; the distance between these two points 
being about thirteen miles. Neither of these "co-inventors" appears 
at this time to have been aware of the early needle telegraph of Baron 
Schilling, whose arrangement had been so closely imitated by Mr. 
, Cooke, and whose later simplification and improvement he had failed 
to reach. 

As illustrative of the mistaken and inaccurate manner in which im- 
portant accounts are often transmitted by even intelligent and honest 
men, — without duo investigation and information, a quotation may here 
be made firom the "Award" of arbitration between the subsequent conflict- 
ing claims of Cooke and of Wheatstone, itendered 27th April, 1841, by the 
referees. Marc Isambord Brunei, the eminent engineer, and John Fred- 
erick Daniell, the eminent chemist, meteorologist, and electrician. They 
state: "In March, 1836, Mr. Cooke, while engaged in scientific pursuits 
[!], witnessed for the first time one of those well-known experiments on 
electricity [!] considered as a possible means of communicating intelli- 
gence [!], which have been tried and exhibited from time to time [!] 
during many years by various philosophers !"§ . And tlius, in strange 

• The Electnc Tel(^raph, etc. by William Fotliergill Cooke, 2 parts, 8v'0. LondoD, 
1856, la'j?; part li, "Arbitration Papers," secte. 14, 18, pp. 14, 15. 

t For an account of tho circumstances attending and foUo^iug this conference, see 
"Supplement," NoTK F. 

t Messrs. Cooke & Wheatstone^s English patent is dated June 12, 1837, No. 7390 ; and 
their American patent, June 10, 1840, No. 1622. 

^Ihe Electric Telegraphy etc. by William FothergiU Cooke, 2 parts, 8vo., London, 
1856, 1857; parti, p. 14 : and part ii, p. 211 ; also p. 265. . ,^.^,.,.^ 

Digitized by VJWWV IV^ 


exaggeration of Cooktfs contribution to telegraphy, not only is Schilling's 
fine invention (of which the arbitrators had probably never heard) 
entirely overlooked, but even Professor Muncke's intelligent exposition 
of it, (by Mr. Cooke's representation — a "well-known experiment,") is 
dismissed as the recurrent exhibition " by various philosophers," — prob- 
ably as familiar in London as in Heidelberg.* 

1837. About the date of the Cooke and Wheatstone patent (or a month 
or two latei'in the same year), a different form of electromagnetic tele- 
graph was being slowly developed in the city of New York. In the 
autumn of the year 1835, an American artist of acknowledged merit and 
of liberal education, a graduate of Yale College, about forty-five years 
of age, was appointed professor of the arts of design in the University 
o4 the city of New York, then recently established, t Occupying 
rooms in the unfinished building, he commenced experimenting on an 
electro-magnetic recording telegraph, the idea of which had for several 
years been floating in his mind. An upright square fi:ame secured to 
the edge of a table, was provided with a transverse strip or shelf about 
midway of it^ height, on which was arranged a small Sturgeon electro- 
magnet lying upon it« side, with its poles directed outward from the 
side of the frame. Directly in front of this, a wooden pendulum sus- 
pended from the top bar of the frame and having at its middle a small 
iron bar acting as an armature fon the magnet, was allowed a small play 
to and from the lower part of the frame. To the lower end of the pen- 
dulum was attached a pencil projecting downward, and made adjustable 
80 as to bear lightly against a strip of paper supported by a roller be- 
neath, and slowly moved along tiear the edge of the table by clock-work, 
after the manner usually employed in recording apparatus. A single 
cup formed the galvanic element, and the circuit involving the electro- 
magnet was closed and opened by means of a lever armed with a wire 
fork which dipped into two mercury thimbles connected respectively 

• Two other projects of needle telegraph on Ampere's and Schilling's plan, belong- 
ing to the latter part of 1837, require here only a pawting notice. The Arst, that of a 
Mr. Alexander, exhibited at the Society of Arts in Edinburgh, comprised thirty trans- 
mitting keys with pins beneath, which on being depressed, cUhmhI the circuit by dip- 
piug[ into a transverse mercury trough, and thirty galvanometer needles at the 
receiving station, each carrying a light papvr screeu, which just covered a painted 
letter or mark when at rest, but which by detiection, exposetl the desired letter to 
▼lew. By ingenionsly employing but a single wire for the return path of each circuit, 
the inventor required but thirty-one wii-es. (Mechauia^ Mayazinty London, Nov. 
2^ 1837, No. 746, vol. xxviii, pp. 122, 1*2:5.) The secoud scheuie, very siuiiiar to the 
preceding, that of a Mr. Dav>', exhibite<l at Exeter Hall, in London, employed but 
eight transmitting keys, each commanding three lett^jrs bv dift'erent movemehts, and 
at the receiving desk twenty-four letters on ground glass, illumiiukted by a lanin, each 
<jf which became visible only on the rcmovalof a screen on the needle, placed behind 
the glass. An observer remarked that in the desk ^^ there is an aperture about 13 
inches long and 3 or 4 inches wide, facing the eyes, iMsrfectly dark. On this the sig- 
nals appear as luminous letters, or combinations of lett«ra, with a neatness and rapid- 
ity almost magical." {Mech, Mag, Feb. 3, 1638, No. 75C,.vol. xxviii, pp. 295, 2iH5.) 

tThis is a diflferent institution from the University of New York State, which has 
mainly a supervisory function. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with the two poles of the cup battery. A series of types having on their 
upper face teeth or cogs varying in number, were set up as desired in 
the groove of a rule or composing-stick, which was caused to pass under 
the free end of the circuit lever ; and in this way the oscillation of the 
said lever over the projecting teeth determined the intervals of trans- 
mission of the magnetizing current according to the combinations pre- 
viously arranged in the composing-stick. The movement of the strip of 
paper beneath the pencil of the pendulum produced a continuous 
straight line so long as the pendulum remained at rest; but at each 
momentary attraction of its, armature by the magnet, (induced by the 
completion of the galvanic circuit on the passage of a tooth under the 
circuit lever,) the play of the pendulum caused a lateral deviation of its 
pencil, which thus produced a transverse V-shaped interruption of the 
straight line. 

With this arrangement of apparatus the projector was enabled to 
produce signals through short circuits of wire : but he soon discovered 
to his dismay that on interposing more than a few yards of insulated 
wire, the oracle was dumb. Although the remedy for this defect (first 
discovered and demonstrated by Henry) had been for four or five years 
familiar to the students of science, the reading of the artist had not 
been in the direction of scientific literature ; and he had conducted his 
experiments with a surprising indifterence and inattention to the exist- 
ing state of knowledge upon the subject. In this emergency he wisely 
procured the scientific assistance of a colleague. Dr. Leonard D. Grale, 
professor of chemistry in the same university, and the material and 
mechanical assistance of Mr. Alfired Vail, of the Speedwell Iron Works 
near Morristown, N. J. 

The follo\^ing is the account given by Dr. Gale of the early condition 
of this experimental telegraph, and of his own connection therewith : 
" In the winter of 183C-'37, Samuel F. B. Morse, who as well as myself 
was a professor in the New York University, city of New York, came 
to my lecture-room, and said he had a machine in his lecture-room or 
studio which he wished to show me. I accompanied him to his room^ 
and there saw resting on a table a single-pair galvanic battery, an elec- 
tro-magnet, an arrangement of pencil, a paper-covered roller, pinion- 
wheels, levers, &c., for making letters and figures to be used for send- 
ing and receiving words and sentences through long distances. . . • 
At this time as Morse assured me no man had seen the machine except 
his brother, Sidney E. Morse. . . • Morse's machine was com- 
plete in all its parts, and operated perfectly through a circuit of somo 
forty feet, but there was not sufficient force to send messages to a dis- 
tance. At this time I was a lecturer on chemistry, and ftx)m necessity 
was acquainted with all kinds of galvanic batteries ; and knew that a 
battery of one or a few oups generates a large quantity of electricity, 
capable of producing heat, &c., but not of projecting electricity to a 
great distance ^ and that to accomplish this a battery of many cups is 

Digitized by V^tOO^ K:^ 


necessary. It was therefore evident to me that the one large cnp-bat- 
tery of Morse shoald be made uito ten or fifteen smaller ones to make 
it a battery of intensity, so as to project the electric fluid. . . . 
Accordingly I substituted the battery of many cups for the battery of 
one cup. The remaining defect in the Morse machine, as first seen by 
me, was that the coil of wire around the poles of the electro-magnet 
consisted of but a few turns only, while, to give the greatest projectile 
power, the number of turns should be increased ftx)m tens to hundreds, 
as shown by Professor Henry, in his paper published in the A^nerican 
Journal of 8eienc€j 1831. . . . After substituting the battery of 
twenty cups for that of » single cup, we added some hundred or more 
turns to the coil of wire around the poles of the magnet, and sent a mes- 
sage through 200 feet of conductors ; then through 1,000 feet ; and then 
through ten miles of wire arranged on reels in my own lecture-room in 
the New York University, in the presence of friends. All these experi- 
ments were repeated with the original Morse machine, modified as I 
have stated, by increasing the number of battery-cups and the number 
of turns of wire around the magnet."* 

The following account by the author himself, of his first experiments, 
is taken from his own deposition in the "Bain " case, in February, 1851 : 
"In the year 1835, 1 was appointed a professor in the New York City 
University, and about the month of November of that year I occupied 
rooms in the university buildings. There I immediately commenced 
with very limited means to experiment upon my invention. My first 
instrument was made up of an old picture or canvas frame fastened to 
a table, the wheels of an old wooden clock moved by a weight to carry 
the paper forward, three wooden drums, upon one of which the paper 
was wound and passed over the other two, a wooden pendulum suspended 
to the top piece of the picture or stretching frame and vibrating across 
the paper as it passed over the center wooden drum, a pencil at the 
lower end of the pendulum in contact with the paper, an electro-magnet 
fastened to a shelf across the picture or stretching frame opposite to an 
armature made fast to the pendulum, a type-nile and type, for closing 
and breaking the circuit, resting on an endless band (composed of car- 
pet-binding), which passed over two wooden rollers moved by a wooden 
crank and carried forward by points projecting from the bottom of the 
rule downward into the carpet-binding, a lever with a small weight on 

i : '. . 

• Menunial of S, F. B, Mor9e^ 8vo. Wasbington. 1875, pp. 15-17. Tbe practical im- 

Srovements iutrodiiced by Professor Gale iuto tlie arrangement devised by Professor 
lorse appeared to the latter so ob\iou8ly mere matters of degree that he felt confi- 
dent (after they were shown) that he would himself have eft'ccted them by simple 
trial or ex]>eriment>ation ; and he does not appear ever to have realized that any scien- 
tific principle was involved in the difference. But had ho increased separately either 
the number of his galvanic elements or the number of coils upon his magnet, he 
would equally have tailed to accomplish the desired result. The chance that he would 
have combing these increments may be estimated as very low iiuleed^ wJn-n wp t nn- 
aider that much wiser and more scientific heads had failed entirely to att£b[ii j»iich pur- 
pose and arrangement. 

Digitized byl 




the upper side and a tooth projecting downward at one end operated on 
by the type, and a metallic fork, also projecting downward over two mer- 
cury cups, and a short circuit of wire embracing the helices of the elec- 
tro-magnet, connected with the positive and negative jwles of the bat- 
tery, and terminating in the mercury cups. . . . Early in 1836, 1 
procured forty feet of wire, and, putting it in the circuit, I found that my 
battery of one cup was not sufficient to work my instrument.* . . • 
A practical mode of communicating the impulse of one circuit to an- 
other, such as that described in my patent of 1840, was matured as 
early as the spring of 1837, and exhibited then to Professor Gale, 
my confidential friend. Up to the autumn of 1837 my telegraphic 
apparatus existed in so rude a form that I felt reluctance to have it 

In substantial accord with Professor Morse's deposition is that of his 
colleague and assistant, Professor Gale, taken in a previous case, and ' 
dated April 1, 1848, in Which it is added that ** On Saturday, the 2nd 
day of September, 1837, Professor Daubeny,of the English Oxford Uni- 
versity, being on a visit to this country, was invited with a few friends 
to see the operation of the telegraph in its then rude form in the cabinet 
of the New York City University, where it then had been put up with a 
circuit of 1,700 feet of copper wire stretched back and forth in that long 
room. This exhibition of the telegraph, although of very rude and im- 
perfectly constructed machinery, demonstrated to all present the prac- 
ticability of the invention; and it resulted 'in enlisting the means, the 
skill, and the zeal of Mr. Alfred Vail.'^t 

The record made on the trial exhibited September 2d, appears not to 
have been entirely satisfactory, for on the following Monday (September 
4th) a still better i)erformance was effected, as announced by a letter of 
that date addressed by Professor Morse to the editor of the New York 
"Journal of Commerce," in which the writer says: "I have the gratifica- 
tion of sending you a specimen of the writing of my telegraph, the actual 
transmission of a communication made this morning, in a more complete 
manner than on Saturday, and through the distance of one-third of a 
mile.'' This specimen of telegraphic communication, with its accompa- 
nying letter, Was re-produced in the "Journal of Commerce'' three days 

* [Had Professor Morse tried 50 or 100 cups, he would have found them equaUy in- 
sufficieut: a fact hei-o quite ignored.] 

\Depomtion of Samuel F. B, Morse: Feb. 6, 7. and 8, 1851. In the case of "B. B. 
Frencli and otbcrs vs. H. J. Rogers and others." Circuit court of U. S. for E. Dist, of 
Pa. April session 1850. No. 104. "Complainant's Evidence." Ninth answer, pp. 

X Modern Tclcffraphff : a pamphlet by Professor Morse, Paris, 1867, Appendix, p. 19. 
This Hrst oxi>eriuieutal exhibition, it must bo remembered, was nearly three months 
after the date of Cooke and Whcatstone's patent, more than a montb after their sue- 
ccHsful operation through a mile and a c|uai*t^r, and while the English inventors were 
engaged in constructing a working line from Paddington to West Dayton. Mr. A. 
Vail, a young man of tine abilities, was a pupil of Dr. Gale's, and was by him intro- 
duced to Professor Morse. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


•later, and forms the earliest publication of the actual operjition of the 
" Morse telegraph."* The dispatch is as follows : 

216—3 6—2—6 8 — 

112—04 — 01 8 3 7 

This cipher is thus explained by the writer, reference being had to a 
dictionary suitably prepared with numbered words. "To illustrate by 
the diagram, the word 'successful' is-first found in the dictionary, and 
its telegraphic number, *215,' is set up in a species of type prepared for 
the purpose; and so of the other words. The type then operate npoh 
the machinery and serve to regulate the times and intenrals of the pas- 
sage of electricity. Each passage of the fluid causes a pencil at the ex- 
tremity of the wire to mark the i>oints as iu the diagram. To read the 
marks, count the points at the bottom of each line. It will be perceived 
that two points come first, separated by a short interval from the next 
I>oint. Set * 2 ' beneath it. Then comes one point, likewise separated by 
a short interval. Set ^1' beneath it. Then come five points. Set *6' 
beneath them. But the next interval in this case is a long interval; con- 
sequentiy the three numbers comprise the whole number * 215.' So pro- 
ceed with the rest until the numbers are all set down. Then by referring 
to the telegraphic dictionary, the words corresponding to the numbers 
are found, and the communication read. Thus it will be seen that by 
means of the changes upon ten characters, all words can be transmit- 
ted.'' t 

In the above line or diagram representing the telegraphic dispateh, 
the symbol "A" (or inverted V), which occurs twice in the lower line, 
represents a cipherer zero; and this character, when preceding a figure 
or group of figures, indicates that the figure or group is to be read as an 
actipal number, and not as the index of a word. Counting thus the num- 
ber of V points in the above, dispateh forming groups separated by a 
line (— ),we obtain the following numbers: "215—36—2—58—112—04 
— 01837." And this message when translated by help of the iinmbered 
dictionary will read "Successful experiment with telegraph September 
4 1837." 

An account of this success, published in Silliman's Journal for Octo- 
ber, added the statement: "Since the 4th of September, one thousand 
feet more of wire No. 23 have been added, making in all two thousand 

•Notwithstanding the very crude condition of this invention in September, 1837, as 
compared with that of Schilling in 1830 (or probably in 182:)), and that of Gauss in 
1833, the fact that intelligible signals were actuallv exhibit<e<l by it at this date, fully 
mstifies the acceptance of this period as the time of its redaction to practical operation. 

tNew York Journal of ComnwcCf Thursday, September 7, 1837: (on the editorial 

Digitized by V^OOQ IC 


seven hundred feet, more than half a mile of a reduced size of wire. The 
register still recorded accurately. Arrangements have been made for 
constructing new and accurate machinery. Professor Gale, of the New 
York City University, is engaged with Professor Morse in making some 
interesting experiments connected with this invention, and to test the 
effect of length of wire o^ the magnetizing influence of voltaic elec- 

Mr. Vail has given the following account of his connection with the 
enterprise : " On the 2d of September, 1837, the author with several 
others witnessed the first exhibition of this electric telegraph, and soon 
after became a partner with the inventor. Imikiediate steps were taken 
for constructing an instrument for the purpose of exhibiting its lowers 
before the members of Congress. This was done at the Speedwell Iron 
Works, Morristown, N. J. and exhibited in operation with a circuit of 
two miles. A few days after, it was again exhibited at the University of 
the City of New York, for several days, to a large number of invited 
ladies and gentlemen." t 

About a month after this " successful experiment," (on the 6th of Octo- 
ber, 1837,) Professor Morse filed in the United States Patent OflBce a 
" caveat," signed October 3, stating in the petition (dated five days 
earlier) " that the machinery for a full practical display of his new inven- 
tion is not yet completed, and he therefore prays protection of his right 
till he shall have matured the machinery." The specification declares : 
** I have invented a new method of transmitting and recording intelli- 
gence by means of electro-magnetism : ... for the purpose afore- 
said, I have invented the following apparatus, namely: First, a system 
of signs by which numbers, and consequently words and sentenceS| 
are signified ; second, a set of type adapted to regulate and communi- 
cate the signs, with cases for convenient keeping of the type, and rules 
in which to set up the type ; third, an apparatus called a port-rule, for 
regulating the movement of the type-rules, which rules by means of the 
type in their turn regulate the times and intervals of the passage of 
electricity ; fourth, a register which reconl^ the signs permanently ; fifth, 
a dictionary or vocabulary of words numbered and adapted to this sys- 
tem of telegraph ; sixth, modes of laying the conductors to preserve 
them from injury." These several parts are then more.particulary de- 
scribed. " The signs are the representatives of numerals." The register 
comprises an electro-magnet actuating by its armature a lever or pen- 
dulum carrying a pencil or fountain pen, or small printing wheel, for 
marking on a strip or sheet of paper as already described. The modes 
of laying the conductors are by insulating the wires with silk or cotton 
wrapping, and coating with caoutchouc or other nonconductor, and also 
by inclosing them in iron, lead, or wooden tubes. The document con- 
cludes : " What I claim as my invention, and desire to secure by letters 

^Sillitnan's Am. Jour. Sci. October, 1837, vol. xxxili, p. 187. 

tA. Vail's EUcirihMar k, 8vo. 1845, p. 154iy ^OOglC 


I>atent and to protect for one year by a caveat, is a method of record- 
ing permanently electrical signs which by means of metallic wires or 
other good conductors of electricity, convey intelligence between two or 
more places." 

Of the above described apparatus, the two most important feattuies 
were those numbered the first and the fourth, — the system of signs and 
the recording device ; and though neither of these presented much orig- 
inality, the method of the former being that long established for naval 
signals, and the clock-moved fillet of the latter being essentially the ar- 
rangement long employed for self-registering instruments generally, yet 
the comhinaiiofi of these parts with the others undoubtedly possessed 
great practical merit ; and none the less that the several elements were 
evidently worked out independently by the inventor. It is-not a little 
remarkable however, that of the specified six parts of this earliest in- 
vention of Professor Morse, not one enters into the established " Morse 
telegraph'' of to-day. That feature regarded by the inventor as its vital 
and fundamental characteristic (the fourth), the subject of his formal 
"claim," survived the longest; but after undergoing considerable modi- 
fication, it has for more than twenty years been neglected and aban- 

In response to a public circular which had been issued by the Secretary 
of the Treasury, March 10, 1837, "with a view of obtaining information in re- 
gard to the propriety of establishing a system of telegraphs for the United 
States," Professor Morse addressed a communication to the honorable Sec- 
retary, dated September 27, 1837, pointing out the disadvantages of the old 
mechanical telegraphs as being " useless the greater part of the time:" 
(as in loggy weather and during the night.) He then proceeded : "Hav- 
ing invented an entirely new mode of telegraphic communication, which 
so far as experiments have yet been made with it, promises results of 
almost marvelous character, I beg leave to present to the department 
a brief account of its chief characteristics^" After stating that at the 
time wheu he first conceived the thought (some five years previously) he 
had *> planned a system of signs and an api>aratu8 to carry it into effect," 
he added, " although the rest of the machinery was planned, yet from 
the pressure of unavoidable duties I was compelled to postpone my ex- 
perijnents, and was not able to test the whole plan until within a few 
weeks. The result has realized my most sanguine expectations." 

The construction of a more complete apparatus was carried on at the 
Speedwell Iron Works of the Messrs. Vail, near Morristown, while Pro- 
fessor Oale pursued his experiments at the Now York City University.* 

Having finished his laborious task of numbering a dictionary, Octo- 
ber 24, 1837, Professor Morse gave more attention to the YaU Works.t 

* Professor Morse, writing to Mr. Alfted Vail, October 7, 1837, says : " Professor Gale's 
services will bo iuvaloablo to us, and I am glad that lie is disposed to enter into the 
matter with zeal." 

t •* The dictionarjjr is at last done. . Yon cannot conceive how much labor there has 
been in it, but it is accomplished ; and we can now talk or write anything by num- 
bers." Professor Morse to A. Vail, October 24, 1837. (Prime's Life of Marae, chp^ 
Viii, p. 326.) Digitized by ^OO^ L(^ 


On his return firom a visit to the works, he wrote back to Mr. Vail, on 
the 13th of November, 1837, " I arrived just in time to see the experi- 
ment Professor Gale was making with the entire ten miles, and you will 
be gratified and agreeably surprised when I inform you that the result 
now^s that with a little addition of wire to the coils of the small mag- 
net which 1 had all along used, the power was as great apparently 
through ten as through three mUes. This result has surprised us all 
(yet there is no mistake), and I conceive settles the whole matter.^ 

In a second communication to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated 
November 28, 1837, Professor Morse announced this* encouraging suc- 
cess : " I informed you that I had succeeded in marking permanently 
and intelligibly at the distance of half a mile. Professor Gale of our uni- 
versity, and Mr. Alfred Vail, of the Speedwell Iron Works, near Mor- 
ristown, N. J. are now associated with me in the scientific and mechan- 
ical parts of the invention.* We have procured several miles of wire, 
and I am happy to announce to you that our success has thus far 
been complete. At a distance of five miles, with a common Cruick- 
shanks' battery of eighty-seven plates (four by three and a half inches, 
each plate), the marking was as perfect on the register as in the first 
instance of half a mile. We have recently added five miles more 
(making in all ten miles) with the same result ; and we now have no 
doubt of its effecting a similar result at any distance.'* 

On the completion of the new receiving and recording instruments at 
the Speedwell Iron Works, an experimental exhibition at the place, with 
three miles of coated copper wire, extended around a large factory -room, 
was made in the presence of a few friends, on the 6th of January, 1838 ; 
and on the 11th of Januafy another exhibition was fireely opened to the 
public. A report of the trial in a Morristown Journal explains how 
"the words were put up into numbers through the dictionary; the 
numbers were set up in the telegraph type in about the same time ordi- 
narily occupied in setting up the same in a printing office ; they were 
then all passed complete by the port-rule f and being automatically 
recorded at the extreme end of the wire, " the marks or numbers were 
easily legible, and by means of the dictionary were resolved again into 

Shortly after this. Professor Morse (or his assistant, Mr. Vail) devised 
for the first time a system of alpliahetic symbols for his telegraph. It 
should not be forgotten that the vertical recording-lever of the original 
Morse appararatus was so arranged that it must necessarily mark a am- 
tinuom line, either straight or zig-zag. It was never devised for an 
" alphabet," and was incapable of an intermittent dot or dash marking. 
Tlie new instrument completed by Mr. Vail, and first operated on tho 

* In a letter to the Hon. Francis O. J. Smith, chairman of the Committee on Com- 
merce, llouKe of Repreaentatives, dated February 15, 1838, Professor Morse writes: 
" It is proper that I shonld here state that the patent-rif^ht is now jointly owned in 
nneqnal shares by myself, Professor Gale, of New York City University, and Messm. 
Alft'ed and George VaiL^ The patent was not actually issued till more than two yean 

1^^'- Digitized by ^OOglC 


6th of January, 1838, was diflferently orfranized, the recording-lever being 
for the first time arranged horizontally, and having an np and down 
movement, with an upright magnet under one end, and the moving fillet 
of paper above the other."* 

On the 24th of January, 1838, an exhibition of the new apparatus and 
of its improved operation, was given at the New York City University, 
in the long room of the geological cabinet, through ten miles of wire; 
one of the five-mile reels being placed in the outgoing portion of the cir- 
cuit, and the other five-mile reel on the returning line. On this occasion 
for the first time the words transmitted were entered, and recorded, in 
the new alphabet without the aid of the numbered dictiouary.t The 
New York Journal of Commerce in noticing this performance remarked : 
"Professor Morse has recently improved on his mode of marking, by 
which he can dispense altogether with the telegraphic dictionary, using 
letters instead of numbers ; and he can transmit ten words per minute, 
which is more than double the number which can be transmitted by 
means of the dictionary.'' { 

The instrument thus brought to a satisfactory working condition, was 
designed to be sent to Washington for exhibition to ofiBcers of the Na- 
tional Government, with a view of obtaining a grant from Congress for 
the construction of an actual line of telegraph between two cities. On 
the way from New York, the apparatus with its reels of wire was ex- 
hibited at Philadelphia, before a committee of the Frjinklin Institute . 
(at its hall), on the 8th of February, 1838. The committee (whose chair- 
man was Prof. Rol^ert M. Patterson, then Director of the United States 
Mint at Philadelphia), after a careful examination, reported : 

"The operation of the telegraph as exhibited to us was very satis, 
factory. The power given to the magnet at the register through a length 
of wire of ten miles, was abundantly sufficient for the movements re- 
quired to mark the signals. The communication of this power was in- 
stantaneous." Referring then to the probable difficulties of efficient in- 
sulation, the committee proceeded: "Mr. Morse has proposed several 
plans; the last being to cover the vrires with cotton thread, then varnish 
them thickly with gum-elastic, and inclose the whole in leaden tubes. 
More practical and ecouomibal means will probably be devised ; but the 
fact is not to be concealed that any effectual plan must bo very expen- 
sive.§ Doubts have been raised as to the distance to which the electri- 

*On the naestioQ of the origin and iiiventiou of the ** Morse- Alphabet/' see ''Sup- 
plemeut/* Note G. 

tThe message sent through the wire on this occasion (Wednesilay, Jannary 24, 
1838,) lA spoken of as "the nrst sentence tha»i was ever reconled by the telegraph." 
(Prime's Life of Mone, 8vo. N. Y. 1875, p. 331.) It was the lirst employment of the 
rectilinear dot and dash symbols, 

tNew York Journal of Commerce of Jannary 29, 1838. 

4 [It is to be remembered that Gauss and Weber, as also Steinheil, at this date had 
in actual and successful operation telegraph lines several miles in length, whose naked 
wires through the air were insulated only at thoir points of support. Although this 
important discovery of Weber had been in practical and public operation for about fiv'» 
years, no particular account of it seems to have been at that time pnblished ip 

'*°°"^S. Mis. 59 20 Digitizedby^OOgie 


city of an ordinary battery can be made efllcient; but your committee 
think that no serious diflBculty is anticipated as to this point. The ex- 
I>enment with the wire wound in a coil may not indeed be deemed con- 
clusive. ... It may be proper to state that the idea of using elec^ 
tricity for telegraphic purposes has presented itself to several individu- 
als, and that it may be difficult to settle among them the question of orig- 
inality. The celebrated Gauss has a telegraph of this kind in actual 
operation, for commuuicatitig signals between the University of Got- 
tingen and his magnetic observatory in its vicinity. ... In con- 
clusion, the committee beg leave to state their high gratification with 
the exhibition of Professor Morse's telegraph, and their hoi)e that means 
mp»y be given to him to subject it to the test of an actual exi)eriment 
made between stations at a considerable distance from each other. ^ • 

About the middle of February, (1838,)Professor Morse arrived in Wash- 
ington with his instrument and his reels of wire, and exhibited the ope- 
ration of the telegraph to many dignitaries of the executive and legisla 
tive branches of government. A memorial was presented to Congress 
by the inventor, asking an appropriation to defray the expense of an 
exi)erimental line between two cities ; which being referred to the Com- 
' mittee on Commerce by the House of Representatives, was favorably 
reported by that committee April* 6, through it-s chairman, Hon. Francis 
6. J. Smith. " The committee agree unanimously that it is worthy to 
engross the attention and means of the Federal Government to the full 
extent that may be necessary to put the invention to the most decisive 
test that can be desirable;" and in accordance with this opinion, "the 
committee recommend an appropriation of thirty thousand dollars, to be 
expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury; and to 
this end submit herewith a bill.'^ This bill however failed to receive 
the sui)port of the majority, and a favorable action on this measure was 
not obtained for several years. 

Meanwhile Professor Morse had been engaged with a killftil attorney 
in preparing papers with a view to obtaining a patent. The specifica- 
tion (signed April 7, 1838) includes, in addition to the several pari:s de- 
scribed in the earlier caveat of October 3^ 1837,* the recently -de vised 
system of alphabetic signs, a rotary port-rule for continuous action 
and a combination of circuits or electro magnetic ** relays.'* The inven- 
tion is described as ** an application of electro-magnetism in producing 
sounds and signs, or either, and also for recording i)ermanently by the 
same means . . . any signs thus produced.'' " It consists of the fol- 
lowing parts: First, a circuit of electric or galvanic conductors," etc. 
" Second, a system of signs by which numerals and words represented by 
numerals, and thereby sentences of words, as well as of numerals, and let- 
ters of any extent and combination of each, are communicated." *^ Third, 
a set of type adapted to regulate the communication of the above-men- 
tioned signs." " Fourth, an apparatus called the port-rule [straight or 

• Journal of Franklin InnUtvite, February, 18.J8, vol. xxi, n, s. 

Digitized by 


dreolar] which regulates the movement of the type.'' " Fifth, a signal- 
lever which breaks and connects the circuit of conductors."* " Sixth, a 
register which records permanently the signs communicated." ^^ Sev- 
enth, a dictionary, or vocabulary of words, to which are prefixed nu- 
merals.'' " Eighth, modes of laying the circuit of conductors." 

After filing his application in the Patent Office, in order not to be 
forestalled in his intended efforts to obtain patents in Europe, by his 
own patent being sent and published abroad, Professor Morse filed a 
request that its issue might be suspended till his return. 

Although the favorable report on the Morse memorial to Congress, 
made to the House of Representatives by its committee, failed to secure 
the appropriation recommended, Mr. Francis O. J. Smith, the chairman, 
was so well satisfied of the merits of the new telegraph, that on leaving 
Congress he at once became a partner in the enterprise, and accompanied 
Professor Mor^ in his departure for London, May 16, 1838. t 

In consequence of the opposition of Wheatstone and Cooke, who had 
obtained an English patent June 12, 1837, Professor Morse's application 
for a patent in Great Britain was refused by the attorney-general, Sir 
John Campbell, July 12, 1838, (after the exaction of heavy fees,) on an 
unquestionable judicial quibble. The ostensible ground of rejection was 
clearly not warranted by the spirit or intent of the English patent law, 
as the details of the patent sought, had never been published either in 
this country or abroad. { 

The succ^s of the American inventor in France was practically no 
greater; for although a nominal patent for that country was obtained 
on August 18, lS38, it was rendered nugatory by the ingenious legal 

*Althoagh the "signal -lever" is here specially indicated, it differs widely in con- 
tt^actlon, arrangement, and operation, from the modem signal-lever or transmitting 
ker ; having only the function in common with it of a circuit-breaker. In his pam- 
phiet, published at Paris in 1867, giving an account of his invention, Professor Morse 
says : *'At the time of the construction of this llrst telegraphic instrument, I had not 
ccmceived the idea of the present key manipulator dependent on the skiU of the opera- 
tor, but I presumed that the accuracy of the imprinting of signs could only be secured 
by mechanical mathematical arrangements and by automatic process.'' (Modem TeU- 
fraphff, etc. p. 25. ) In his argument presented to Sir John CampbeU, the attorney- 
general of England, July 12, 1838^ he urges as an evidence of characteristic novelty, 
^The«e types form such an essentml part of my invention, that without them the prac- 
tieal utility and value of my invention is for the most part destroved, and full one- 
half of the mechanism is disconnected from it, and is of uo use in it." The Morse lever 
nmst not therefore be confounded with the existing finger-key. ** The spring-lever 
key, fts at present used in the Morse office, was suggested by Mr. Thonms C. Avery, of 
New York, but has received various modifications." (TumbulPs Elcctro-Magnetio 
Teiegrapk, 1852, pp. 49, 50.) 

fWith this understanding a partnership was formed between Professor Morse, 
ProCeaeor Oale, Mr. Alfred Vail, and Hon. F. O. J. Smith, by the terms of which it was 
stipulated that Mr. Smith should go to Europe with Professor Morse, and secure 
patents for the telegraph in such countries as it should be practicable tor him to do 
so." (Primers L\fe of Morse, chap, viii, p. 344.) 

t Notwithstanding their illiberal interference with Morsels application in 1838, 
Messrs. William F. Cooke and Charles Wheatstone had the '' self-possession " eighteen 
mooths later each to writ€ a letter to Professor Morse, (dated January 17, 1840,) beg- 

S'ng him to join them in their efforts to obtain an American patent I As a character- 
tic illustration of official contrast, Messrs. Cooke and Wheatstone (contrary to their 
expectations), on their own application, secured an American patent without opposi- 
tion or obstruction June 10, 1840, ten days before the issue of Morse's patent, applied 
for more than two years earUer. 

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conditions, first, that to prevent forfeiture the patented invention mofit 
be carried into successful operation in France within two years; and 
secondly, that all private persons, companies, or corporations, were pro- 
hibited from putting a telegraph into operation in France. Di8{^i>ointed 
in various promising expectations, and discouraged by repeated foiloreSi 
Professor Morse returned to New York, April 15, 1839. 

In May, 1839, he visited Princeton, for the purpose of seeing Professor 
Henry and obtaining from him the solution of certain doubts; — ^his col- 
league. Dr. Gale, being then absent on business. During this his first 
interview with Henry, occupying an afternoon and evening, he received 
from the full and frank expositions of his host every satisfaction he de- 
sired; and he had the great encouragement of hearing from the lips of 
that cautious investigator, that he foresaw no difficulty in magnetizing 
soft iron through a wire " at the distance of a hundred miles or more.''* 

The application filed by Professor Morse in the United States Patent 
Office, before he visited Europe, was allowed, and issued as a patent 
June 20, 1840. (No. 1647.) This patent comprised nine claims : 1, the 
combination of type, rule, lever, &c.; 2, the recording cylinder, &c. ; 3, 
the types, signs, &c. ; 4, the making and breaking of the circuit by 
mechanism, &c. ; 5, the combination of successive circuits ; 6, the appli- 
cation of electro-magnets to several levers, &c. ; 7, the mode and process 
of recording by the use of electro-magnetism ; 8, the combination and 
arrangement of electro-magnets in one or more circuits, with armat^ires 
for transmitting signs ; and 9, the combination of the mechanism de- 
scribed, with a dictionary of numbered words. 

The appropriation asked for from Congress, though earnestly pressed 
at successive sessions, failed to obtain the sanction of the House of 
Representatives; until after a wearisome delay of five years, a bill was 
finally carried through Congress, March 3, 1843, authorizing an exi>endi- 
ture of " the sum of thirty thousand dollars, ... for testing the 
capacity and usefulness of the system of electro-magnetic telegraphs 
invented by Samuel F. B. Morse, of New York." 

The stations selected for connection by the new telegraph were Wash- 
ington and Baltimore, about forty miles apart. In order to form two 
complete circuits for this distance, one hundred and sixty miles of cop- 
I)er wire, covered with cotton, were ordered and delivered at New York 
City. Before inclosing the four lines in pipes, as contemplated. Professor 
Morse prudently determined to exi)eriment on the magnetizing effect 
through this continuous length of insulated wire. The result of this 
experiment, which fully justified the exi>ectation of Henry expressed to 
him four years before, is thus stated in a letter addressed to the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, August 10, 1843: 

• Prime's Life of Morse, chap, x, pp. 421, 422. Dr. Prime says of this visit, " A few 
days after receiving Professor Henry^s kind invitation, Professor Morse went to Prince- 
ton, and passing the afternoon and evening with the great phUosopher, returned the 
next morning to New York.'' 

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" The experiments alluded to were tried on Tuesday, and with per- 
fect success. I had prepared a galvanic battery of three hundred pairs, 
in order to have ample power at command 5 but to my great gratifica- 
tion, I found that one hundred pairs were sufficient to produce all the 
effects I desired through the whole distance of one hundred and sixty 
miles. ' It may be well to observe that the hundred and sixty miles of 
wire are to be divided into four lengths of forty miles each, forming a four- 
fold cord from Washington to Baltimore. Two wires form a circuit ; the 
electricity therefore in producing its effects at Washington from Balti- 
more, passes from Baltimore to Washington and back again to Baltimore, 
of course travelling eighty miles to produce its result. One hundred 
and sixty miles therefore gives me an actual distance of eighty miles ; 
double the distance from Washington to Baltimore. The result then of 
my experiments on Tuesday, is that a battery of only a hundred pairs at 
Washington, will operate a telegraph on my plan eighty miles distant 
with ceilainty, and without requiring any intermediate station." 

As it was part of the original plan (as set forth in the caveat of 1837) 
to lay the conducting wires underground. Professor Morse, in 1843, de- 
vised a method of forming a lead pipe around the group of prepared and 
insulated wires, that is of introducing the compound cord into the pipe 
in the process of its construction. He obtained a patent for this project 
October 25, 1843, (^o. 3316,) claiming *^ the method of introducing wires 
into hollow pipes whilst making the same, by introducing the wires 
through a hollow mandrel on which the pipe is made." This process 
was practically carried out, though with the extreme risk of constantly 
impairing the insulation of the wires by the operation. 

Professor Gale has given the following account of the method of lay- 
ing the telegraph line and of the result. "A plow was used, with a share 
running two and a half feet deep, and carrying a coil of insulated wire 
inclosed in a coil of lead pipe which the plow deposited in the ground 
and covered as the plow progressed. Forty miles of lead pipe were made 
in New York in the autumn of 1843, and shipped to Baltimore in the end 
of November. Up to this date I had been engaged in New York inspecting 
the manufacture of the lead pipe and charging the same with the insulated 
wire fed into the pipe by machinery while the pipe was drawn. I reached 
Baltimore in the early part of December, and learned that the party had 
nearly reached the Eelay House. Nine miles had been laid ; on inspection 
of which, not one mile of wire was found to be sufficiently insulated to 
carry the electric current from end to end of the reach."* 

The plan was finally abandoned early in 1844, after more than half of 

* Morm Mem&rial, Washington, 1875, pp. 18, 19. Steiuheil, in 18:J7, remnrked : " Nnmer^ 
Otis trials to insulate wires and to conduct them below the surface of the ground have 
led me to the conviction that such attempts can never answer at ereat distances, in- 
asmnch as our most perfect insulators are at best but very bad conductors. And since 
in a wire of very great length the surface in contact with tlie so-called insulator is 
nncoynmonly large when compared with the section of the metalUc conductor, there 
necessarily arises a gradual diminution of force." (Sturgeon's AnnaU of Electricitiff 
etc. April, 1839, voL lii, p. 510.) 

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the appropriation had been expended.* In Maroh^ 1844, it was decided 
to pat the wires on poles, after the manner sncoessfolly adopted by 
Weber at Gottingen eleven years before. The different plans of insulat- 
ing support proposed, were submitted by Professor Morse to Henry for 
his opinion, and he decided in favor of Mr. Ezra Cornell's plan of 8ei>a- 
rating the wires as far apart as convenient, and attaching each Vire to 
an independent glass insulator, f The line was accordingly erected on 
this plan 5 and by the middle or latter part of May, 1844, was completed 
from Washington to Baltimore. On the 24th of that month, the first 
formal message was transmitted through it between the two cities, and 
recorded by the electro-magnet in the do^and-dash alphabet.^ From 
this time the success of the electric telegraph in the United States was 
assured, and its extension over our broad domain was comparatively 

This prolonged review of the history of the "Morse telegraph" has 
been ventured upon in this connection, partly to bring out into just re- 
lation and relief one or two important points, and in part to illustrate 
the gradual progress of development of the system, in the career of a 
single inventor. With that strong "subjectivity'' (perhaps essential to 
the success both of the artist and of the artisan) which characterized 
him, Professor Morse always believed his invention to have been prac- 
tically full-fledged at its birth, or rather at its conception ; and quite 
unconscious of the slow and small advances derived from gathered ex- 
perience or external suggestion, failed seemingly to realize how com- 
pletely his earlier methods were discarded and displaced by later improve- 
ments. § 

* Professor Morse says : '' It was abaodoned. amoDg other reasons, in conaeqaenco of 
ascertaiuing that iu the process of inserting tlie wire into the leaden tubes (wnich wa» 
at the moment of forming the tube from the lead at melting heat) the insulated cover- 
ing of the wires had become charred at various and numerous points of the line to such 
an extent that greater delay and expense would be necessary to repair the damage 
than to put the wire on posts." (Prime's Hfe of Morse, chap, xi, p. 478.) 

t Mr. Cornell afterward distiufcuished himself by devoting, in 1865, half a miUion of 
dollars from the profits of his telegraphic enterprises, to the founding at Ithaca, N. T. 
of the university bearing his name. He subsequently contributed nearly as much 
more ; making his total endowment iu the ueighliorhood of a million dollars. 

tXhe completion of the experimental telegraph authorized bv act of Congress was 
thus formally announced by Professor Morse to the Secretary or the Treasury, under 
whoso direction the appropriation had been placed : ** Washington, June 3, 1844. Sir ! 
I have the honor to n^port that the experimental essay authorized by the act of Con- 
gress on March 3, 1843, approjiriating 30,000 dollars for testing my system of electro- 
magnetic 'telegraph, *and of such length and between such points' as shall test its 
practicability ami utility,^ has been made between Washington and Baltimore, a dis- 
tance of forty miles, connecting the Capitol in the former city with the railroad depot 
in Pratt "street in the latter city. * . ." This was six years after the English Im© 
of thirteen miles had been in operation. While Lomond, in 1787, and SteiuheiT, in 1837, 
ha<l employed but a single wii-e for transmitting messages from either end, Morw?, in 
1844, required two circuits of four wires for the same perlormance ; one pair of wires for 
the outward and one pair for the inward passage. 

J In a letter addrefwed to Donald Mann, esq., December, 1852, Professor Morse rather 
quaintly remarks: **In elaborating the invention in its earlier tftasea, many modilica- 
tions of its various parts were tried, and many of the 8uppose<l improvements then 
deemed necessary to its i>erfection have since beeir found unnecessary and useloas." 
{Ammcan Telegraph Magazine, December 15, 1852, vol. i, No. 3, p. 130.) 

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Morses ^^ first conception.^ — ^After a three years' sojourn in Europe, fh)m 
1829 to 1832, spent principally in Italy, devoted exclusively to the study 
and pursuit of his art as painter, Mr. Morse on his homeward voyage 
from France in the ship Sully, formed the acquaintance of Dr. Charles 
T. Jackson, of Boston, a fellow-passenger. He first "conceived the idea'' 
of an electric telegraph on the 19th of October, 1832, from a conversa- 
tion with Dr. Jackson on the subject ; and the suggestion impressed him 
with the surjmse of a truly new conception. His first thought appears 
to have been the application of electricity or galvanism to a chemically 
recording telegraph ; and this project, laid aside for that of the electro- 
magnet, was afterward revived and cherished, till in 1849, he procured a 
patent for it, as already stated. 

Professor Morse in his letter to Dr. C. T. Jackson, dated September 18, 
1837, controverting the claim of the latter to a share in the invention of 
the electric telegraph, says : " I lose no time in endeavoring to disabuse 
your mind of an error into which it has fallen in regard to the electro- 
magnetic telegraph. You speak of it as *our electric telegraph,' and as 
a * mutual discovery.' ... I have a distinct recollection of the man- 
ner, the place, and the moment, when the thought of making an electric 
wire the means of communicating intelligence, first came into my mind. 
. . . We were conversing on the recent scientific discoveries in elec- 
tro-magnetism ; . . . I then remarked, this being so, if the presence 
of electricity can be made visible in any desired part of the circuit, I 
see no reason why intelligence might not be transmitted instantaneously 
by electricity. You gave your assent that it was possible. ... I 
asked you if there was not some mode of decomposition which could be 
turned to account. You suggested the following experiment, which we 
agreed should be tried together, if we could meet for that purpose. It 
was this: to decompose by electricity glauber salts upon the paper 
which was first to be colored with turmeric." The writer then argues 
that this plan not having been jointly tried, and an entirely diflferent 
device (the electro-magnet) having been adopted by himself, there was no 
joint invention.* 

In his letter to Dr. C. T. Jackson, dated December 7, 1837, Professor 
Morse says : "I consulted you to ascertain if there were not some sub- 
stance easily decomposed by the simple contact of a wire in an electric 
state. It was tlien, and not till then, that you suggested turmeric paper 
dipped in a solution of sulphate of soda. ... I do not charge you 
with intentional neglect; I readily allow your excuses for not trying the 
experiments; but these excuses do not alter the fact that your neglect 
retarded my invention, and compelled me after five years' delay, to con- 
sider the result of that experiment as a failure, and consequently to de- 

• Ajuos Kendall's Full Exposure of Di*. Charles T, Jackson's Pretensions^ etc. First edi- 
tion, N. Y. 1850. Second edition, printed in Paris, 1807 : pp. 04, 05. Ncitlier Pi'ofcssor 
Horse nor Dr. Jackson was aware that tlie project had lieen suggested seventeen years 
before, by Dr. J. R. Coxo, of Philadelphia; and that it had been successfully tried 
four or five years before, by Mr. H. Q. Dyar, of New York. 

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vise another mode of applying my apparatus, — a mode entirely original 
with me."* 

In a letter to Mr. Alfred Vail, not long after having formed a partner- 
ship with that gentleman, ho wrote: *'I claim to be the original 
suggester and inventor of the electric magnetic telegraph, on the lOtli 
of October, 1832, on board the packet-ship Sully, on my voyage from 
France to the United States, and consequently the inventor of the first 
really practicable telegraph on the electric principle." t Some ten years 
later he wrote to Professor Walker : " It is at the date, 1832, of Baron 
Schilling's invention of his needle-telegraph (since abandoned as imprac- 
ticable from various and obvious causes), that I conceive<l my electro- 
magnetic telegraph, and first devised an apparatus applying magnetism 
produced by electricity or the power of the electro-magnet to imprint 
characters at a distance." t And such was ever his firm conviction. 
Some twenty years later, he wrote at Paris: " If it be asked why I have 
assumed the date of the year 1832 as a standpoint, I reply, because at 
that date the idea was first conceived, and the process and means first 
developed." § 

The invention however as unfolded in his caveat of October 3, 1837, 
is suflSciently embryonic for physiological study; and though our intent 
law, on grounds of sound policy, excludes all evidence of the inception 
of a foreign competitive invention, admitting only perfected and fully 
published details successfully to interfere (in a question of priority) with 
the first suggestions of the American inventor, || obviously no such patri- 
otic rule is admissible in any scientific history of the progress of actual 
discovery. Interesting as the earliest gleams of a successful application 
and invention undoubtedly are, they are too little accessible to impar- 
tial investigation to claim the prerogative of a recognized chronology. 

• This letter seems very positively to exclude the claim to having "conceived the 
idea" of tlie Magnetic telegraph in ItilW. 

t VaiVs Eltctro-Mognetic Telegraph ^ 1845, p. 154. 

t Morse's letter in Professor Sears C. Walker, dated Washington, Jannacy 31, 184& 
Tlio writer is excusable for nssnniiug 18:J2 as the date of Baroii Schilling's invention, 
(the date of his return from China,) as this is the date usually assigned in the popular 
text-hooks. Schillin«5'8 invention however so far from being either "impracticable'* 
or *• abaudonetl," is the essential basis of the telegraph now in use throughout Eng- 

^ Modern TeJegi-apht/f a pamphlet by S. F. B. Morse. Paris, 1867, p. 10. In a letter to 
Donald Mann, esq. (editor of the Telegraph Magazine), elated " Poughkoepsie, De- 
cember, 1852," Professor Morse stoutly maintaineti his claim to prionty of practical 
development (if not of lii-st coucei»tion) of an electric rccoiTiing telegraph; and with 
patenml exaggeration he declared, of his tirat crude experiment at the close of the year 
1835, "The truth is, the child was born, and breathetl, aud spoke, in 1835. It had 
then all the essential characteristics of the future man." (Anun-ican TcU-graph Ma^a* 
zine. December 15, 1852, vol. i. No. 3, p. 130.) Its firat tnmsmission of an intelligible 
message was made September 2, 18^57. 

II " Whenever it appears that a patentee at the time of making his applica- 
tion for the patent believed himself to be the original and first inventor or dis- 
coverer of the thing patented, the same shall not be held to be void on account uf the 
invention or discovery, or any part- thereof, having been known or used in a foreign 
country before his invention or discovery thcre*)f, if it had not been patentetl or 
descnbed in a printed publication." (ActofJtdi/4f 1836, section 15, Itevined SlaUUct, 
appi ved March 2, 1877, title Ix, sec. 4923.) 

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Whether judged by the standard of original conception, of practical 
operation, or of actnal introduction into use, the Morse telegraph must 
be assigned a position tolerably low down in the list* More than six- 
teen years before Professor Morse's first conception of the idea, Dr. J. 
E. Coxe, professor of chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania, at 
the beginning of 1816, " conceived the idea ^ of a practical electro-chemi- 
cal telegraph, whose signals should be permanently recorded by the de- 
composition of metallic salts ;t the precursor of Dyar's electro-chemical 
telegraph, successfully operated in 1828, (about five years before Morse's 
first conception,)— of Bain's electro-chemical telegraph, (patented De- 
cember 12, 1846,) — and of Morse's electro-chemical telegraph, (patented 
May 1, 1840,) a third of a century afterward. Schilling's electro-mag- 
netic telegraph developed to a *' practical operation" in 1823, certainly 
before 1825, preceded that of Morse more than a dozen years. And the 
electro-magnetic telegraph of Gauss and Weber (certainly '^ conceived'^ 
before 1832) was in actual use and employment more than ten years 
before the similar establishment by Professor Morse; while that of 
Steinheil, probably conceived as early, was some eight years earlier 
than his in its practical introduction into use.| 

That Professor Morse would greatly have expedited his own improve- 
ments, and have saved himself a large amount of wasted time and labor, 
if he had studied more carefully the state of the art at the commence- 
ment of his experiments in 1835, is sufficiently obvious. But his com- 
plete unconsciousness — not only of the earlier successes of others in de- 
veloping the galvanic telegraph, but of even the elementary facts of sci- 
entific history bearing on the problem, as well at the time of his original 
"conception" on board the ship Sully from the fecundating suggestion 
of Dr. Jackson, as during the years following, in which the invention 
was being slowly matured, — would be incredible on any other testimony 
than his own. In his first letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated 
September 27, 1837, he announced "having invented an entirely new 
mode of telegraphic communication." In a letter to Mr. A. Tail, some 
time afterward, he wrote: " I ought i>erhaps to say that the conception 
of the idea of an electric telegraph was original with me at that time, 
and I supposed that I was the first that had ever associated the two 
words together, nor was it until my invention was completed and had 
been successfully operated through ten miles, that I for the first time 

• Nearly two years before Professor Morse had met witli Dr. C. T. Jackson, Henry had 
" conceived " and execnted an experimental electro-magnetic telegraph, of a mile circnit. 

tThomsou's AnnaU of Philosophy , Febniary, 1810, vol. vii, p. 163. 

tin a letter to his dangbtor chitcd July 26, 1838, (written from HaiTC, Jast on hit 
arrival in France from Loudon,) Professor Morso says somewhat curiously of the tele- 
graph of Whcatstone, "he has invented his I believe without kuowiii;; I was 
engaged in an invention to pnxluce a similar result ; for nithough he dateti bnck to 
Iwi, yet as no publication of our thoughts was made by either, wo are evidently in- 
dependent of each other.** (Prime's U/v of Moract cha]i. ix, p. 3o8.) The popuhir in- 
fatuation in England as to tho origimility and priority of the Cooke and Wheatstoua 
telegraph is jirobably quite equal to that prevalent in America as to tho »ar 
claims of the Morse telegraph. Wheatstone*s aclcntifw disMuctiou or his titl*' 
doriug iarno^ fortunately does not repose on his telegraph. . / ^^ ^ryTp 

igi ize y g 


learDed that the idea of an electric telegraph had been conceived by 

Some time earlier than this, or Ave years after their conversations on 
ship-board, Professor Morse wrote to Dr. Jackson, (in a letter dated 
August 27, 1837, seeking his indorsement of the writer's originality in 
electrical telegraphy,) and avowed : " I claim for myself, and consequently 
for America, priority over all oth^r countries in the invention of a mode 
of communicating intelligence by electricity I" In a second letter to the 
same i>ei'son, dated l^ew York City University, September 18, 1837, 
acknowledging his correspondent's original introductory remarks on 
electricity and electro-magnetism during their homeward voyage, but 
differing from him as to some of the consequent circumstances, he 
affirmed: "I then remarked, this being so, if the presence of electricity 
can be made visible in any desired part of the circuit, I see no reason 
why intelligence might not be transmitted instantaneously by eleo* 
tricityl" And in the same letter he contended, "The discovery is the 
original suggestion of conveying intelligence by electricity .t The inren- 
tion is devising the mode of conveying it. The discovery, so far as we 
alone are concerned, belongs to me : and if by an experiment which we 
proposed to try together we had mutually fixed upon a successful mode 
of conveying intelligence, then we might witji some propriety be termed 
mutual or joint inventors. But as we have never tried any experiment 
together, nor has the one proposed to be tried by you, been adopted by 
me, I cannot see how we can be called mutual inventors. You are 
aware perhaps that the mode I have carried into eflfect after many and 
various experiments with the assistance of my colleague. Professor Gale, 
was never mentioned either by you or to you.f ... I have always 
said in gi\ing any account of my telegraph, that it was on board the 
ship during a scientific conversation with you that I first conceived the 
thought of an electric telegraph. I have acknowledgments of similar 
kinds to make to Professor Silliman and Professor Gale, . . . and 
t«^ the latter I am most of all indebted for substantial and effective 
aid in many of my experiments. If any one has a claim to be mutual 
inventor on the score of aid by hints, it is Professor Gale ; but he pre- 
fers no claim of the kind."§ In his third letter, dated New York City 

* Vail'a ElecivfhMfignetio Telegraphy p. 154. 

t Professor Morse's conception of "discovery" does not appear to haVe been veiypro- 

i [Another explicit statement that he did not ''conceive the idea'' of the magnetic 
telegrapli in 1832, or on board the ship SuUy. ] 

J Dr. Jackson in his reply, dated Boston, November 7, 1837, said: ''This claim of 
yours is to me a matter of surprise and regret. . . . You Will not I presume 
venture to maintain that you at that time Imcw anything about electro-ma^etism 
more than what you learned from me. ... I am certainly desirous of domg you 
justice to the fullest extent^ and have always spoken of your merits as I hope I shaU 
always have occasion to do. . . . Honor to whom honor is due shall be my 
motto, and I must I believe fail in this duty if I should say that the first idea of an 
electro-magnetic telegraph was conceived by an American citizen. . . . The * dis- 
covery* is not then to bo claimed by us. I have invented a new instrument: so per- 
haps you have, for I do not yet kuow what your now one is, since you say I have not 
seen it nor heard about it beyond your announcement. " 

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University, December 7, 1837, Professor Morse reiterated: "Your mem- 
oiy and mine are at yai*iance in regard to the first suggestion of convey- 
ing intelligence by electricity. I claim to be the one who made it, and 
in the way which I stated in my letter to yon. . . . The idea that 
I had made a brilliant discovery, that it was original in my mind, was 
the exciting cause and the perpetual stimulus to urge me forward in 
maturing it to a result. Had I supposed at that time, that the thought 
had ever occurred to any other person, I would never have pursued it; 
and it was not till I had completed my present invention, that I was 
aware that the thought of conveying intelligence by electricity had 
occurred to scientific men some years before. . . . The single scien- 
tific fact ascertained by Franklin, that electricity can be made to travel 
any distance instantaneously, is all that I needed to know, aside from 
mathematical and mechanical science, in order to plan all I invented on 
board the ship."^ 

These extracts sufficiently show the distinguished inventor's profound 
incomprehension, as well of the nature of the problem to be solved, as 
of the scientific principles involved in surmounting his fundamental 
difficulties. That his colleague. Professor Gale, should by the mere ap- 
plication of existing knowledge and established fact, make his magnetio 
signals operative through successively increasing lengths of wire imtil 
ten miles were included in the circuit, appeared — ^if remarkable, at least 
quite natural That any si)ecial credit should be due to any one but 
himself and his invention, in the accomplishment of such a result, ap* 
peared no less unnatural and irrational : and Dr. Gale has recorded 
^^ Professor Morse's great surprise" when his attention was first called to 
Henry's paper in SUliman's Journal of January, 1831, a year or two after 
his magnet and battery had been so modified in accordance therewith 
as to correlate them in " intensity." That even then the inventor under- 
stood the real import of the paper is rendered doubtful by subsequent 
developments: his surprise being apparently excited mainly by Henry's 
suggestion that his researches were " directly applicable to the project 
of forming an electro-magnetic telegraph." 

Prof. Sears C. Walker, the eminent astronomer, in a deposition taken 
in a telegraph suit of " French vs. Rogers," has thus recorded his recol- 
lection of an interesting interview between Professors Henry, Morse, and 
Gale, in January, 1848, at which he was present : " The result of the in- 
terview was conclusive to my mind that Professor Henry was the sole * 
discoverer of the law on which the 4n tensity' magnet depends for its 
power of sending the galvanic current through a long circuit. I was 
also led to conclude that Mr. Morse in the course of his own researches 
and experiments, before he read Professor Henry's article before alluded 
to, had encountered the same difficulty Mr. Barlowand tliose whopreceded 
him had encountered ; that is the impossibility of forcing the galvanic 

• Full Exposure of Dr. Churles T, Jackson^ a PrcteimonSf etc. By Amos KendalL Ist ecL 
1850 ; 2d e<L printed in Paris, 1837 : pp. 61-74. 

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current through a long telegraph line. His own personal researches had 
not overcome this obstacle. I also learned at the same time, by the con- 
versations above stated, that he only overcame this obstacle by con- 
structing a magnet on the principle invented by Professor Henry, and 
described in his article in Silliman's Journal. His attention was directed 
to it by Dr. Gale.'^ 

In consequence of this friendly interview, Professor Morse, with a 
frankness creditable to the natural impulses of his character, a short 
time afterward addressed a letter to Professor Walker, from which the 
following extracts are made: 

"WASHiNaxoN, January 31, 1848. 

" Dear Sir : I have perused with much interest that part of your 
manuscript entitled * Theory of Morse's Electro-Magnetic Telegraph,' 
which you were so kind as to submit to my examination. The allusion 
you make to ' the helix of a soft-iron magnet prepared after the manner 
first pointed out by Professor Henry,' gives me an opportunity of which 
I gladly avail myself, to say that I think justice has not hitherto been 
done to Professor Henry, either in Europe or this country, for the dis- 
covery of a scientific fact which in its bearing on telegraphs, whether 
of the magnetic needle or electro-magnet order, is of the greatest im- 
portance. . . . Thus was opened the way for fresh efforts in devising 
a practicable electric telegraph ; and Baron Schilling, in 1832, and Pro- 
fessors Gauss and Weber, in 1833, had ample op];)ortunity to learn of 
Henry's discovery, and i^vail themselves of it, before they constructed 
their needle telegraphs, t ... To Professor Henry is unquestionably 
due the honor of the discovery of a fact in science which proves the 
practicability of exciting magnetism through a long coil or at a distance^ 
either to deflect a needle or magnetize soft iron. . . • 
<* With great respect, your obedient servant, 

"Samuel F. B. Morse." 

This just and honorable recognition was well calculated to reflect an 
added luster, in the minds of the intelligent, upon Professor Morse's 
unquestionable achievements. But the writer a few years later, per- 
haps embittered by the sweeping constructions placed by hostile ad- 
vocates ni)on the enforced statements of Henry (exacted in strongly- 
contested litigations between rival telegraj)h inventors or their sustain- 
ing companies) j was unfortunately led in evil hour by flattering partisans 
to undo this gmcious work. 

In a pamphlet essay dated Locust Grove, New York, December, 1853, 
and published in January, 1855, Professor Morse hazarded the intrepid 

* The case of French vs. Rogers, Respondent's evidence, p. 199. Qnoted by President 
Felton: Smiiliaonian Report for 1857, pp. 94, 95. The attention of Professor Mon»e was 
in reality not called to Henry's discovery by Dr. Gale, till a considerable time after it 
had been successfaUy applied to the exi)erimental circuits of the infant telegraph. 

t [Schilling's telegraphic experiments (involving no great length of circuit) were 
earlier than Henry's discoveries ; and the expedient of so delicate an indicator as tJie 
reflecting galvanometer employed by Ganss and Weber seems to show that they had 
not adapted fully the electric current to the '^intensity" coil, as recommended by 

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statement: "First. I certainly shall show that I have not only mani- 
fested every disposition to give due credit to Professor Henry, but 
nnder the hasty impression that he deserved credit for discoveries in 
science bearing npon the telegraph, I did actually give him a degree of 
credit not only beyond what he had received at that time from the scien- 
tific world, bat a degree of credit to which subsequent research has 
proved him not to be entitled. Secondly. I shall show that I am not 
indebted to him for any discovery in science bearing on the telegraph; 
and that all discoveries of principles having this bearing were made, not 
by Professor Henry, but by others, and prior to any exi>eriments of Pro- 
fessor Henry in the science of electro-magnetism.'^* 

In the inevitable dilemma thus assumed by the pamphleteer, under 
the clear light of historic record, it is most charitable not to impugn the 
writer's candor. The evidences diligently gathered by him, of electric 
impulse transmitted to great distances, before the date of Henry's inves- 
tigations, certainly seem to show a surprising misconception of the phe- 
nomena and the principles of electro-magnetism. That with such mis- 
conception he should fall to appreciate an indebtedness to Heniy's labors, 
is perhaps not surprising ; but that he should thus ignore the services 
and statements of his faithful friend and colleague — Professor Gale, his 
great obligations to whom had been constantly admitted, appears less 
amenable to explanation or excuse. 

Professor Morse could say with undoubted truth, that not till after the 
successful working of his invention, had he ever heard of Henry's re- 
searches. In his letter to Professor Walker, just above quoted, in refer- 
ring to the time and the nature of his invention, he wrote : " I was utterly 
ignorant that the idea of an electric telegraph of any kind whatever, 
had been conceived by any other person. I took it for granted that the 
effects I desired could be produced at a distance ; and accordingly in the 
confidence of this persuasion, I devised and constructed my apparatus 
for the purpose. I had never even heard or read of Professor Henry's 
experiments, nor did I become acquainted with them until after all my 
apparatus was constructed and in operation through half a mile of wire, 
at the New York City University, in 1837. I then learned for the first 
time that an electric telegraph of some kind had been thought of before 
I had thought of it." In his pamphlet of January, 1855, he mentions that 
at the date of Henry's publication in Silliman's Journal, he was sojourn- 
ing in Italy. " Prom the autumn of the year 1829 till the autumn of the 
year 1832 I was in Europe, principally in Italy. • . . The fact is, it 
did not come to my knowledge until five years after my return, in 1837."^ 

•A Defence against theinjurUnu deductions draum from the deposition of Prof, Joseph 
Henry [m the several telegraph suite]; by Samuel F. B. Morse, January 1855, p. 8. 
(See *' Supplement,'' Note H.) 

t Morse's Defence against the injurious deductions, etc. (p. 15, and foot-note). Thus 
whOe Morse— <lreaming only of artistic fame, was assiduously cultivating his art in 
Italy, nearly two years before he met with Dr. Jackson on the home wanl ship, or be- 
fore the conception of electric signaling had dawned upon his mind, Henry had an 
electro-magnetic circuit of a mUe, with beU signal, in actual operation at the Alb^ 

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Professor CtnXej when asked in 1856^ if he would give a statement fof 
publication, of the Morse apparatus as originally constructed, and be- 
fore being modified by himself, promptly responded in a letter dated 
Washington, April 7, 1856 : ^^ This apparatus was Morse's original in- 
strument, usually known as the type apparatus, in which the types, set 
up in a composing-stick, were run through a circuit-breaker, and in 
which the battery was the cylinder battery, with a single pair of plates. 
The sparseness of the wires in the magnet coils, and the use of tiie single 
cup battery, were to me on the first look at the instrument, obTioas 
marks of defect, and I accordingly suggested to the professor, without 
giving my reasons for so doing, that a battery of many pairs should be 
substituted for that of a single pair, and that the coil on each arm of the 
magnet should be increased to many hundred turns each : which experi- 
ment (if I remember aright) was made on the same day, with a bi^teiy 
and wire on hand, furnished I believe by myself: and it was found that 
while the original arrangement would only send the electric current 
through a few feet of wire, (say from fifteen to forty,) the modified ar- 
rangement would send it through as many htmdred. Although I gave 
no reasons at the time to Professor Morse fbr the suggestions I had pro- 
posed in modifying the arrangem«^nt of the machine, I did so afterward; 
and referred in my explanations to the paper of Professor Henry, in the 
nineteenth volume of the American Journal of Science. . . . At the 
time I gave the suggestions above named, Professor Morse was not famil- 
iar with the then existing state of the science of electro-magnetism. Had 
he been so, or had he read and appreciated the paper of Henry, the sug- 
gestions made by me would naturally have occurred to his mind, as 
they did to my own. . . . Professor Morse expressed great surprise 
at the contents of the paper when I showed it to him, but especially 
at the remarks on Dr. Barlow's results respecting telegraphing."* 

In a letter published in the Sunday Chronicle at Washington, in 1872, 
Professor Gale (strongly vindicating the propriety of erecting a menu* 
ment to Professor Morse— not as a Discoverer but as an Inventor,) con- 
ceded that " Morse knew nothing of Henry's discovery when he invented 
his machine. Henry's discovery was published in 1831. Five or six yeais 
later Morse invented his telegraphic machine, without having seen an 
account of Henry's experiments till shown to him by myself."! And from 
this consideration he justly exonerates him from the imputiition of 
plagiarism which had been inconsiderately brought against the distin* 
guished inventor. In a letter addressed to Prof. E. N. Horsford, of 
Cambridge, Mass., dated Washington, May 18, 1872, the same writor 
said : "I adapted to Morse's machine the modification which was taken 
from Henry's experiments of 1831. [Properly of 1829, and 1830.] But 
Morse, not having been accustomed to investigate scientific facts, could 
not appreciate the investigations of Henry as applicable to the tele- 

"SmitluioHiaii BepoH for 1857, pp. ^y 93. 
\Sumday CkronioU, Wafihingtou, Marcb 3, 1872. 

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graph ; and I presume that Morse never did fally appreciate the benefit 
which his machine derived from Henry's discovery," • 

Professor Morse's real merit (and his real contribution to telegraphy) 
consists, first, in the adaptation of the armature of a Henry electro-mag- 
net to the purpose of a recording instrument, and secondly, in connec- 
tion therewith, the improvement on the Gauss and Steinheil dual-sign 
alphabets, (made either by himself, or his assistant, Mr. Tail,) of employ- 
ing, instead of alternating or vibratory markings, the simple '^ dot-and- 
dash " alphabet in a single line. Whatever may have been the indebt- 
edness of Professor Morse to Dr. Jackson for the suggestion of the first 
idea of an " electric " telegraph, it is quite clear from the incoherent 
claims of Dr. Jackson himself, that these two really important improve- 
ments were original with Morse, and were in no sense derived from 
Jackson, t 

Claims so moderate, though so meritorious, (as might be supposed) 
would scarcely satisfy the ambition of the patentee and his supporters, 
conscious of the equally meritorious exertion and enterprise by which 
through tedious ordeals of obstruction and difficulty a great practical 
success had been achieved, and before whom — ^in just reward — ^prophetic 
visions of a grand commercial monopoly loomed in large perspective. 
And thus by ignoring and undervaluing the results accomplished by 
those earlier in the field, the owners of the patent exerted themselves to 
repress competing systems, and to arrogate entire invention and propri- 
etorship of the electro-magnetic telegraph. 

To the vast mfyority — suddenly dazzled by so magnificent a culmina- 
tion of invention, such claims appeared entirely legitimate ] to the studi- 
ous few — ^prepared to discriminate, they appeared as entirely inadmissible. 
The judicial tribunals — disposed to sustain a vested right with largest and 
most liberal interpretation, yet pronounced in final api>eal such claims 
untenable and overstated.! 

To so eminent a pioneer in telegraphy as Henry, x>erhaps more than 
to any other, must the overweening pretensions of the " Morse Tele- 
graph'' have been obvious and untenable; and yet with that impar- 
tiality of judgment — that rare independency of personal bias which so 
marvelously distinguished him, he never permitted himself to under- 
estimate Morse's true merits, nor did he abstain from defending them 
with a heartiness probably greater than was accorded by any of his sci- 
entific compeers. For Professor Morse personally he felt a sympathetic 
regard ; which continued uninterrupted and unabated till the unfortu- 
nate epoch when he was so ungratefully assailed and so wantonly tra- 

* MemoriiU of Samuel F, B, Morse, (Meeting in Faneuil HaU.) Boston, 1872, p. 37. 

f These two features so impressed the candid Steinheil, the foremost of telegraphers, 
as to lead him at once to accept them as great improvements ou his own mgenioiis 
method of recording, and to urge at once their sabstitution. 

I See "Supplement,'* Note I. J See "Supplement," Note J. 

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^^Eday^ and ^^ receiving^ circuits. — ^The somewhat controverted ques- 
tion as to the true origin of the relay system of electrical communica- 
tion has been purposel